February 18, 2008
Domestic Violence Offender Website?
"Web sites that promise to give the dirt on prospective dates abound. A guy has a roving eye? Look him up on DontDateHimGirl.com.
But a California lawmaker says the background checks can be far more serious. The lawmaker, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, the San Francisco Democrat who is the majority whip, introduced a bill last week to create an online database of men and women convicted of domestic violence in California.
Other states like Florida have databases used by law enforcement officials. Her proposal, Ms. Ma said, would be the first available to the public.
“If you’re online, Googling and looking for information on someone you met in a bar or on MySpace, this would provide a tool for people to go and look to see if someone who is suspicious and a little creepy has a history of violence,” Ms. Ma said.
The database would log the names of domestic violence offenders convicted of a felony or two misdemeanors, dates of birth, locations of convictions and other information. Unlike public registers of sex offenders, the database would not list addresses. It would, however, indicate how to obtain a restraining order."
By Rebecca Cathcart, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 2-18-08 NVS)
"Eyes like black pearls, the softest skin and little tufts of hair made it totally easy to fall in love at first sight. And that is what Julie Carroll — and Jewel McRoberts and Tommi-Lynn Sawyer — did when they saw the three tiny girls at a Vietnamese orphanage. They adopted the babies after months of waiting and then had to leave them behind because they could not obtain entry visas to bring them back to the United States.
That was almost four months ago, and the families last week began a public campaign to press the State Department to let them bring Madelyn Grace, Eden and Anabelle to the United States. Enlisting the help of the senators from California, where two of the families live, the adoptive parents argue that they have been unfairly caught in diplomatic wrangling between the American and Vietnamese governments over concerns about corruption in the adoption process that led to the suspension of Vietnamese adoptions from 2003 to 2005."
By Elizabeth Olson, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visted 2-18-08 NVS)
Story of Turkish Lawyer
FOR Fatma Benli, a Turkish lawyer and women’s rights advocate, the controversy over Islamic head scarves has the irritating sound of a broken record.
Ms. Benli, who is 34, wears one herself. (On Wednesday, it was light brown with a floral print, tucked into the neck of a white turtleneck.) But she would rather talk about other things.
“I could tell you about domestic violence, about honor killings, about the parts of the criminal code that discriminate against women,” she said, ticking off her areas of expertise in rapid-fire sentences. “But we can’t move on to those issues.
“The head scarf is where we are stuck.”
The story of how Turkey got there is also, in large part, the story of Ms. Benli, who has been a central, if reluctant, participant in the fight in Turkey over whether covered women should be allowed to go to college. The governing party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken their case to Parliament, trying to lift the ban at universities, a move that has enraged Turkey’s secular establishment.
By Sabrina Tavernise, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 2-18-08 NVS)