Article here. Excerpt:

'When you go into a hospital, do you expect the hospital and biotech industries to make a profit from your surgical specimens? Well in the case of circumcision, your child’s foreskin could be making thousands of dollars for the biotech industry.

A baby’s foreskin is full of cells, called fibroblasts, that produce structural proteins like collagen. When fibroblasts are extracted, multiple products can be developed, such as artificial skin for plastic surgery, injectable wrinkle treatments and even skin creams that sell for hundreds of dollars per jar.

The ethical question is: Should you be informed that your child’s foreskin is going to become a profitable commodity? Circumcision continues to be a controversial topic, but the majority of people don’t realize that many of the byproducts from human bodies translate to big bucks for biotech companies.

The question that I have is: Who does that foreskin belong to? Right now, this industry is not very well regulated. Yes, the FDA keeps tabs on tissue banks nationally, but many of them also have affiliations and partnerships outside the U.S. where the FDA has no regulatory control.

I don’t see a lot of disclosure or transparency by medical centers in their contractual agreements they may have with biotech companies in regards to selling human byproducts. It’s important to note this is not the same as patients donating tissue like bone marrow or organs that are very regulated, and in my opinion, doing God’s work. But when the tissue that is up for grabs is being sold off without the patient’s knowledge, is that ethical? I don’t think it is, and I want to hear from you about what you think about this topic.'

Story here. Excerpt:

'A businessman who spent three weeks in jail after falsely being accused of rape by a woman he met on the internet is suing the police for malicious prosecution and wrongful imprisonment.

Kayode Modupe-Ojo, a former boyfriend of David Beckham’s sister Joanne, said his reputation has been destroyed and he lost his business because police failed to investigate properly the woman’s fictitious allegations – including that he possessed firearms – or the glaring inconsistencies in her story.

The 28-year-old former spa owner was arrested at his home in Cheshire shortly after spending two days with the woman.

His accuser gave a harrowing but entirely false account of being tied up and moved around the north-east of England against her will, after a sexual encounter turned terrifyingly violent.'

Article here. Excerpt:

'We still must believe survivors: This sentiment is one survivors and activists have been championing since the story was first called into question. While some have stated that this case may be read as a "setback" for the movement and that it "wrecked an incredible year of progress," the incident has also launched an important conversation about the complex experience of survivors and why they should be believed.

Regardless of the particulars of Jackie's case, the fact remains that just about 2% to 8% of rape claims are determined to be false, and rape remains a highly underreported crime. Furthermore, it's not uncommon for survivors to misremember the facts of their assault or to manage the experience in a variety of ways. It makes sense, then, to believe survivors. As activist Zerlina Maxwell wrote in the Washington Post, "the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist."
Ultimately, this controversy is about much more than the validity of a single case of sexual assault on one campus. It is about the way in which we approach survivors' stories. Rather than focusing on the discrepancies of a single case, this investigation, and the treatment of Jackie, underscore that surviving assault is a complex experience about which the public needs to continue to be educated.'

Story here. Excerpt:

'Phi Kappa Psi at the University of Virginia told ABC News today that the fraternity feels vindicated after Charlottesville, Virginia, police said their investigation found "no evidence" of an alleged rape at the fraternity house.

Stephen Scipione, president of the Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi, said in a statement, "These false accusations have been extremely damaging to our entire organization, but we can only begin to imagine the setback this must have dealt to survivors of sexual assault.”

He continued, “We hope that Rolling Stone’s actions do not discourage any survivors from coming forward to seek the justice they deserve.”
Phi Psi said it is "exploring its legal options to address the extensive damage caused by Rolling Stone."
Police also found no evidence that a party or event took place at Phi Psi on Sept. 28, 2012, noting that a time-stamped photo from that night shows the house practically empty, Longo said.

In January, a police investigation cleared Phi Psi of any involvement in the alleged rape and the fraternity was reinstated on campus.

Longo noted today that the case is not closed, but is suspended until they are able to gather more information.'

Story here. Excerpt:

'Charlottesville Police announced Monday that its investigation into an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia's Phi Kappa Psi fraternity did not find enough evidence to support the account described in a Rolling Stone magazine article published last year.

Charlottesville Chief of Police Tim Longo said during a press conference the case would not be closed, however, because he cannot say conclusively that no assault took place. The alleged victim, a female undergraduate identified only as Jackie, did not provide a statement or any testimony to Charlottesville police during its investigation, Longo said.

"It's a disservice to Jackie and to the university to close this" case without leaving open the possibility that additional information will come to light, Longo said.'

Article here. Excerpt:

'Rolling Stone magazine plans to publish an external review of a widely disputed article about a gang rape at the University of Virginia “in the next couple of weeks,” its managing editor, Will Dana, said on Sunday.

The 9,000-word article, which was published in November, was based on the account of a female student who described being sexually assaulted by seven men in a dark room during a fraternity house party.

The article quickly became part of a national debate over sexual assault on college campuses, and the university suspended the fraternity’s operations. But in early December, substantial portions of the article were called into question. Rolling Stone acknowledged that it had not sought to independently corroborate the woman’s account, and that it had doubts about the veracity of the story. Shortly afterward, it announced a review of the article would be led by Steve Coll, dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.'

Story here. Excerpt:

'The Australian Salvation Army failed to protect young boys in its care from sexual abuse, a report has found.

The report, by Australia's Royal Commission, examined four homes run by the charity in New South Wales and Queensland.

It detailed brutal sexual and psychological abuse of young boys put in the care of the state at the four homes between 1965 and 1977.

Boys who attempted to report abuse were punished or accused of lying, it said.

"The commissioners found that the Salvation Army did not protect the boys from sexual abuse in each of the four homes," the report said.'

From a reader in India. Many items on men being harassed and assaulted due to presumed guilt/false accusations, sometimes murdered or driven to suicide as a consequence.

Man trashed for bumping into a group of girls in the dark

Mob Justice: Penis chopped off

Husband burnt alive by mother-in-law
(If a wife is burnt alive, or dies of any unnatural death or road accident within 7 yrs of marriage, the Indian police immediately bound to file case under 304B. But here wife isn't touched at all.)

One honest officer in Indian civil services allegedly committed suicide. Reason initially is that the mafia had a hand in the murder. Now news is unfolding: Allegedly, his wife had affair and he was threatened with 498a. There have been good number of protest to investigate the case in Bangalore but it's taking new turn.

Another husband committed suicide due to 498a terror

A doctor commits suicide after wife threatens him with 498a

Man commits suicide after a woman blackmailed him of false rape case

Man beaten after a woman alleges that he held her hand

Article here. Excerpt:

'KATHERINE BYRON, a senior at Brown University and a member of its Sexual Assault Task Force, considers it her duty to make Brown a safe place for rape victims, free from anything that might prompt memories of trauma.
Ms. Byron and some fellow task force members secured a meeting with administrators. Not long after, Brown’s president, Christina H. Paxson, announced that the university would hold a simultaneous, competing talk to provide “research and facts” about “the role of culture in sexual assault.” Meanwhile, student volunteers put up posters advertising that a “safe space” would be available for anyone who found the debate too upsetting.

The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.

Safe spaces are an expression of the conviction, increasingly prevalent among college students, that their schools should keep them from being “bombarded” by discomfiting or distressing viewpoints. Think of the safe space as the live-action version of the better-known trigger warning, a notice put on top of a syllabus or an assigned reading to alert students to the presence of potentially disturbing material.'

Article here. Excerpt:

'Being a single parent is a tough gig. Hustle the barely conscious kids off to preschool, fret whether your afterschool program is meeting the needs of your children, fidget in rush hour lines at the grocery store -- or feel guilty about getting them a Big Mac and fries. That’s why we have National Single Parent Appreciation Day on March 21, courtesy of President Reagan in 1984.

That’s also the reason National Parents Organization wants to make single parenting a thing of the past. To help, we have a killer app: shared parenting by divorced or never-married parents. Instead of one frenetic single parent and one non-parent called a “visitor” (and relegated to every other weekend), both parents divvy up the work. The other reason for shared parenting is the emerging consensus among child development researchers that children want shared parenting and do much, much better in life if they have it.

In this age of gender role convergence, people are often surprised to learn just how often courts currently favor one parent over the other. In fact, sole custody is awarded to one parent in about 83 percent of cases, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, thus creating a single parent and a “visitor.” Thrusting parents into a winner-take-all gladiatorial arena helps create bitter custody battles with attendant and corrosive effects that last for years. National Parents Organization recently published a Shared Parenting Report Card that graded each state’s child custody statutes A through F. The results show no state is heading for acceptance into the Ivy League.'

Article here. Excerpt:

'There is no dispute that far too many Americans carry the burden of a criminal record — at least 70 million, by recent estimates — or that the easy accessibility of these records in the information age imposes debilitating obstacles, especially when it comes to finding a job.

The harder question is what to do about it.

Employment is, after all, an important factor in keeping people out of the criminal justice system, yet, in a struggling job market, employers are often tempted to turn away anyone who appears to pose even the slightest risk. Thanks to the proliferation of companies offering instant online background checks, a vast majority of employers now run such checks on all job applicants. They can, and do, refuse to hire people on the grounds of an arrest itself — let alone a conviction.

People with criminal records often face all manner of entrenched and unjustified prejudice. Studies have found that job applicants who reported having a criminal record were 50 percent less likely to receive a callback or job offer. And, as with virtually every part of the criminal justice system, the effect was more pronounced when the job candidate was black.

Over the last five years, according to a recent report by the Vera Institute for Justice, 23 states have passed more than three dozen laws aimed at sealing or expunging criminal records for certain offenses so that low-level offenders do not continue to suffer for relatively minor transgressions. The convictions that may be sealed commonly include misdemeanors like disorderly conduct, shoplifting, or, in some cases, low-level drug possession.'

Article here. Excerpt:

'In the attached handouts, I have explained how the Office for Civil Rights, where I used to work, has made punishment of innocent students more likely, and in some cases, inevitable, through its rules on how colleges must handle sexual harassment allegations, which apply both to verbal harassment and sexual assault.

Article here. Excerpt:

'This past June Israel’s highest court ruled that it isn’t appropriate to link a child’s circumcision to a divorce proceeding. It appears the American legal system has no such concerns.

In Palm Beach County, Florida, family court judge Jeffrey Gillen has ordered a young mother arrested and jailed for failing to hand over her healthy four-year-old son so he can be circumcised according to his dad’s wishes.

The situation looks bleak – for Heather Hironomous and for her son’s foreskin – as the initial circumcision order has already been appealed and affirmed. The family is not Jewish or Muslim, so religious concerns are not at issue here.

The cases in Israel and Florida are strikingly similar. Both involve mothers who have serious objections to childhood circumcision absent true medical necessity. Fearful of the pain their boys would inevitably endure, of the potential for surgical complications and of possible diminished sensation in adulthood, both mothers consider themselves to be “intactivists” – a burgeoning human rights group that believes women and men alike should make their own decisions, as consenting adults, when it comes to elective genital surgery.'

Story here. Excerpt:

'Excerpt from Is this the generation that rejects circumcision? by Avraham Burg [link added]. Published in Ha'aretz (Israel), Aug. 29, 2014.

“I approached the topic with a great deal of curiosity, and conducted a kind of man-in-the-street poll for several weeks. I asked my questions with care and got detailed responses. The many answers I received all pointed in a single direction: that the institution of circumcision is coming to an end. Or, to be more precise, the institution of circumcision has no real hold among the segment of the Israeli population that is not conservative and religiously observant… My innocent question, “Is any one of these answers sufficient reason to maim a child?” was met with silence. I asked, “Would you take out a child’s appendix soon after birth? Or implant a pacemaker in his body in order to play it safe?” The answer, with an embarrassed smile, was, “Oh, I never thought about it that way.” Nobody, but nobody, cited religious obligation as justification for the act… Here are the facts: there is no Jewish death penalty. We do not put out eyes or cut off hands. There are no rabbinic executioners, or people who amputate limbs for violations of Jewish law. All that are left are the mohalim – those who are specially trained to perform circumcisions.

Ritual circumcision is the only act of physical harm that remains. For how much longer?

The acts of physical harm I enumerated above, and many others, fell into disuse as the social and cultural conditions in which the Jews lived changed. Is our generation the one that is ripe for the abolition of ritual circumcision?'

YouTube video here. Description:

'If you are a criminal defendant, it is far better to be a woman than a man. For the same crime, and with a similar criminal history, men in the U.S. are imprisoned much more frequently and for much longer sentences. This is one gender gap that we hear very little about. AEI resident scholar Christina Hoff Sommers explains the very real consequences of being a man vs. a woman on trial for the same crime.'

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