Laura Bush Supports Choice, Gay Rights • Support Hillary, Win A Date With Bill Clinton


• Former first lady Laura Bush appeared on Larry King last night where she finally admitted that she doesn’t agree with her husband on abortion and gay rights. Even though she could have taken a stronger stance: good for her.

• Lawmakers in France are considering lifting the ban on brothels, which has been in place since 1946, in attempts to protect sex workers from life on the streets. But prostitutes don’t really want their help. The sex worker’s union is “adamantly opposed” to the suggested change, on the grounds that government regulation may cause many workers to take a pay cut. They also worry that regular STD testing will lead to “discriminatory practices” and force those infected to stop working. • A 54-year-old Italian woman is reportedly 15 weeks pregnant with a baby girl, which she conceived without any help (except, of course, from her partner). Doctors are “amazed” that a woman of her age was able to conceive naturally. Giovanna Paola Cima, head of the gynecology department at the local hospital called Giovanni Ciardi’s case “absolutely exceptional.” • Lawmakers in Illinois passed a bill in late April that was designed to help regulate hair braiders by requiring them to obtain specialized licenses. While many braid wearers have welcomed the new standards, some businesses view the new regulations as a way to “criminalize a perfectly legal profession” and raise money for the state. • New research from the University of Cambridge indicates that antisocial behavior among teen girls may be linked to an inability to recognize facial expressions. They found that overly aggressive and violent girls had a great deal of difficulty identifying anger and disgust, but had no problem recognizing other emotions (including sadness, fear, surprise and happiness). This could mean that girls with Conduct Disorder might be able to blame their brains for their bad behavior. • Authorities in Bahrain have launched an investigation into the case of a 5-year-old girl with severely mutilated genitals. The girl was living with her father in his unnamed Gulf country when she was allegedly “circumcised” by a female maid. The girl’s 28-year-old mother noticed that her daughter was unwell during a visit, and brought her to a private medical clinic, where they discovered the damage. The mother has refused to allow her daughter to return to her ex-husband, and a religious court in Bahrain has issued a travel ban for the child, which effectively keeps her in the country. • Human trafficking is becoming an increasingly pressing problem in China, where young female refugees from North Korea are being sold for farmers as wives. The women, which can go for up to $1,500, are often forced to “live like animals.” If a farmer does not like his new wife, she is resold at a higher price. • Two new studies on teenage girls highlight the positive effects of peer pressure. The studies show that girls who surround themselves with high-achieving classmates are more likely to do well in school than girls who hang out with underachievers. • Bill Clinton has decided to help his wife pay off her campaign debts in a rather unorthodox way: by raffling off a day in New York with the philandering former president. For as little as $5, you can enter the raffle to spend some time with Clinton. “Hillary’s campaign still has a few vestiges of debt that I know she would like to see paid in full. Will you reach out today to help Hillary this one last time?” he asks in an email to supporters. •

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