Saudi Businesswoman Fined For Driving Herself to the Hospital

Saudi woman driving

Aliyah Al-Farid, a Saudi businesswoman and member of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), was fined by police after she drove herself to the hospital to receive treatment for a medical condition. A woman driver? What’s next? A woman doctor?!

In Saudi Arabia, it is not illegal for women to drive on the road, but it is illegal for them to be granted a driver’s license – which pretty much wipes out the former law. As the Quran says, “No woman shall operate a motor vehicle. Ever.”

But Al-Farid claims no one else was available to drive her when she began to experience the medical emergency.

“I told the traffic officers that I had to drive because it was an emergency case,” Al-Farid later told reporters.

“I didn’t do it on purpose and I’m not after fame or media hype. I was very sick and that was it,” she said.

The Saudi police were very understanding and allowed her to proceed to the hospital. But waited for her outside…

When she emerged from treatment, four police cars were waiting to escort her to the local Traffic Department office. While at the station, Al Farid, who has reportedly been caught driving twice before, paid the fine for driving without a license but refused to agree to a police request to never drive again.

The Saudi businesswoman owns a centre caring for people with special needs and on occasion must rush her patients to hospital.

“We can’t leave an epileptic patient convulsing on the ground while waiting for our male driver to come and transport him to hospital.”

“I have to get behind the steering wheel and do it,” she explained.

So… what are Saudi women supposed to do if they are home alone and have a medical emergency? Sit there and die? Well, considering this is the same country where religious police forced schoolgirls back into a burning building because they weren’t wearing the correct Islamic dress, I guess the answer is yes.

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Death By Crocodile… And Other News

Death by Crocodile

Instead of popping some pills or fastening a noose the good old fashioned way, a Thai woman has come up with a new method of suicide: jumping into a crocodile pit.

A 65-year-old woman from Bangkok killed herself by jumping into a crocodile pit at a reptile farm near the capital. Wanpen Inyai, who appeared depressed prior to the incident, took off her shoes and jumped right into the 3m deep pond that contained hundreds of adult crocodiles. Staff tried to use long sticks to stop the crocodiles from attacking her, but those crocodiles were mighty hungry. The reptile farm owner said the farm, which has, like most Thai tourist attractions, extremely lax safety rules, had already installed additional fences and other security measures along the walkways. The crocodile will not be charged. BBC News

Cab OdorPassing their driving test (or getting held up at gunpoint) is no longer cab drivers’ biggest worry – now, they must also pass a smell test. Officials at San Diego International Airport are using body odor as a criteria for judging taxi drivers—and the cabbies aren’t happy, complaining it stinks of prejudice and discrimination. Body odor is now among 52 criteria that officials at San Diego International Airport use to judge taxi drivers, along with the usual proof of insurance, functioning windshield wipers, adequate tire treads, good brakes, etc. Anyone who flunks the smell test is told to go home and change before picking up another customer. Sounds good to me, but not to Drivers with United Taxi Workers of San Diego who say the smell test perpetuates a stereotype that predominantly foreign-born taxi drivers smell bad. Body odor is body odor no matter where you’re from, but whatever, I’ve got an Uber account. Huffington Post

Ebola OutbreakThe Ebola virus has continued to terrorize West Africa, killing 2,461 so far and threatening the region’s economic growth. In fact, the Ebola crisis has gotten so out of hand that the U.S. announced it will step up efforts to combat the outbreak. On Tuesday, President Obama announced a plan to send 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the region with the intention of building 17 new health-care facilities with 100 beds each and training as many as 500 health-care workers a week. Others are doing a little less to reign in the highly contagious virus. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has fired 10 government officials who have been “out of the country without an excuse” amid the national crisis. “These government officials showed insensitivity to our national tragedy and disregard for authority,” said a statement from the president’s office. The ten senior officials were given a one-week ultimatum back in August to return to Liberia or they would be fired immediately. Turns out unemployment was more appealing than the chance of catching a viral hemorrhagic fever. Bloomberg

alan-henningAl Qaeda is turning into one big softie. The terrorist organization responsible for the 9/11 attacks appealed to IS (the group formerly known as ISIS) to release the British hostage Alan Henning because it believed he was an innocent aid worker who was genuinely trying to help suffering Muslims. Al Qaeda told IS its capture of the British aid volunteer, who had traveled four thousand miles to deliver vital medical equipment to Syrian refugees, was simply unacceptable. In the Islamic State’s latest film showcasing the brutal beheading of aid worker David Haines, the IS militant warned Henning would be next. The question is, will IS listen to reason? No. When even al Qaeda makes you look bad, you knw you’re a horrible organization. Independent 

Auschwitz93-year-old Oskar Groening has been charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for serving as an SS guard at the Nazis’ Auschwitz death camp. Groening is accused of helping operate the death camp in occupied Poland between May and June 1944. The ex-nazi was responsible for taking the possessions of those imprisoned at Auschwitz. “He helped the Nazi regime benefit economically, and supported the systematic killings,” state prosecutors in Hanover, Germany, said. Groening has spoken openly about his experiences at the Nazi death camp but has said while he witnessed horrific atrocities, he didn’t commit any crimes himself. In 2005, he told Der Spiegel he recalled one incident on “ramp duty” when he heard a baby crying. “I saw another SS soldier grab the baby by the legs. He smashed the baby’s head against the iron side of a truck until it was silent.” Well, that will give the 93-year-old something to think about during his life sentence – which will probably only last a couple months. CNN

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Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s Wife Awarded PhD… After Being Enrolled for Two Months

Grace Mugabe

The first lady of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe, is not known for her academic intellect, but “somehow” she managed to graduate with a PhD from the University of Zimbabwe.

President Robert Mugabe, who just happens to be chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe, capped his wife last week and awarded her a PhD in sociology. Her thesis, according to the state-owned Herald newspaper, was on the changing social structure and functions of the family.

Grace Mugabe, who is best known for getting knocked up with the president’s child while his first wife, Sally, lay bedridden due to a kidney ailment, can now add doctor to her growing CV, which also includes a dairy business, building a school, and keeping the world economy afloat by going on ridiculous shopping sprees.

News of the first lady’s graduation has come as a surprise to many Zimbaweans, mainly because she was only reported to have enrolled two months ago. Plus, past reports in Zimbabwe said the 49-year-old first lady had dropped out of a correspondence course at the University of London after failing most of the exams with marks as low as 7%.

But according to Grace, she had to work hard for her degree. It seems Grace Mugabe may be just as delusional as her husband, who recently claimed the reason he is not invited to Western summits is because Barack Obama is “afraid of him”. It couldn’t be because of all those human rights abuses, right?

Although, to be fair to Grace, it probably does take a lot of hard work to keep Robert Mugabe’s 90-year-old dick erect. So congrats on your latest accomplishment, Grace! Although, you probably could have just gone to India, paid $50 and gotten the degree in half the time. Plus, you wouldn’t have had to marry a crazed genocidal dictator. But everything is 20/20 in hindsight…

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Teen Faces Jail Time for Oral Sex with Jesus

oral sex jesus statue

A Pennsylvania teen is facing two years in juvenile detention after he simulated oral sex with a statue of Jesus and uploaded pictures on Facebook.

The troublemaking teen straddled the Son of God figure outside the “Love in the Name of Christ” Christian organization’s Everett, Pennsylvania headquarters while his friend took pictures of him humping the Jesus statue’s face.

While the number of times teens have been caught humping inanimate objects as a practical joke has got to be in the thousands billions, this 14-year-old boy’s “statue-tory” rape prank caused such an uproar in the small town that the police whipped out the seldom-invoked 1972 Pennsylvania law which criminalizes “defacing, damaging, polluting, or otherwise physically mistreating in a way that the actor knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the action.”

Once the pictures went viral, officials in Bedford County charged the teen with desecration of a venerated object. The criminal charge will be heard in family court later this month. And, if convicted, the teen could apparently face up to two years in juvenile jail.

Yes, in Pennsylvania you can be arrested for molesting inanimate objects while clergy get away with molesting children.

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Al Qaeda Feels Left Out

 al Qaeda Cat

With all eyes on ISIS, al Qaeda is feeling left out of the terrorism game.

In response to a U.S. assessment that the original Islamic terrorist organization is in decline, al Qaeda issued a defiant online message Sunday, dismissing the U.S. State Department’s annual terrorism report as “lies”.

In its annual terrorism report published in April, the U.S. State Department said:

“As a result of both ongoing worldwide efforts against the organization and senior leadership losses, AQ core’s leadership has been degraded, limiting its ability to conduct attacks and direct its followers.”

While the report notes that the group has expanded horizontally, with global affiliates grabbing territory and harassing Western-backed governments in Somalia, Algeria and Yemen, al Qaeda was not impressed with U.S. trying to downplay their presence.

“Whatever slip-ups or errors (regional branches)…may have committed are limited in number in the midst of mountains of good deeds and successes,” said Hossam Abdul Raouf, an Egyptian veteran of the militant group, adding that the organization was expanding across the world.

“How then can al Qaeda have shrunken greatly and lost many of its senior leaders at a time when it is expanding horizontally and opening new fronts dependent on it?” Raouf asked.

Noticeably absent from Raouf’s statement was any mention of the ultra-hardline Islamic State group, it’s archrival for the leadership of global jihad. Counter-terrorism experts say the aging al Qaeda leadership is struggling to compete with ISIS for young recruits.

ISIS, who broke away from al Qaeda in 2013 over its expansion into Syria, has everything young recruits are looking for in a terrorist organization: publicized beheadings of western journalists (and now aid workers), mass executions of innocent civilians, crucifixions, stonings, burying victims alive, ethnic cleansing – the works! Al Qaeda just can’t compete with this level of savagery.

Luckily for al Qaeda, thirty countries have pledged to help Iraq fight Islamic State (IS) militants “by all means necessary”. Even the Arab countries are pitching in! Following a conference in Paris to discuss strategy on how to combat the jihadists, several Arab nations have offered to carry out air strikes against the group in Iraq and Syria. And a few days before, ten Arab countries issued a communiqué with the U.S. endorsing efforts to “destroy” ISIS.

So don’t worry, al Qaeda. You’ll have your title as the world’s worst terrorist organization back soon enough. Unless Boko Haram has anything to do with it…

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Breaking News: Football May Cause Brain Damage… And Other News

Football Brain Damage

According to data prepared for use in a lawsuit against the National Football League brought by retired players and their families, nearly three in 10 former NFL players will face moderate to severe neurocognitive problems resulting from concussions.

Only 30%? Not bad! The data suggests that retired players are at twice the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, moderate dementia, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), and Parkinson’s disease than the general population between ages 20 and 60. But it’s not all bad news for the athletes. These semi-brain dead retired professional football players may qualify for payments under the proposed $765 million concussion settlement – if it’s approved. ESPN

Football LimbaughSpeaking of football and brain damage, Rush Limbaugh had some choice words to say about the game. In response to NFL broadcaster James Brown’s commentary Thursday night challenging “the NFL community and all men” to do something about domestic violence, the conversative radio show host complained that NFL executives and sports journalists are “chickifying” football. Go on Rush… “This is crazy. We’re feminizing this game, and it’s a man’s game, ” Limbaugh said. “If we keep feminizing this game, we’re going to ruin it. Keep chickifying this game, we’re going to ruin it. It’s going to become something it was never intended to be. And so many men now, executives in the league and sports drive-bys are in a race to see who can be the most politically correct feminist guy. It’s comical to watch this.” So… knocking women unconscious in elevators somehow makes football more manly? Raw Story

Russia Sanctions BankBecause sanctions have always worked so well against Russia in the past, the Obama administration and their European allies announced even more sanctions against the Motherland for its intervention in Ukraine. This time the US Treasury and European Union are going after the country’s largest bank, Sberbank. Along with the big banks, oil producers and defence companies will also be cut off from international finance and technology under the new sanctions. “The United States, in close cooperation with the European Union, will impose ever-increasing sanctions that further Russia’s isolation from the global financial system unless Russia abandons its current path and genuinely works toward a negotiated diplomatic resolution to the crisis,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. Whether the latest sanctions will stop Russian President Vladimir Putin from backing pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine is another question entirely – to which the answer is no. The Guardian

Killer LaneNice try T.J. Lane. Actually, terrible try T.J. Lane. T.J. Lane, the teen who killed three students during an attack at Chardon High School in Ohio two years ago, was caught about 100 yards from the Ohio prison fence he had scaled to escape just hours earlier. The school shooter, who was sentenced to life without parole last year, escaped from the Allen Correctional Institution on Thursday with two other inmates. Authorities quickly launched a search in woods and a residential area near the prison. Lane was found early Friday in a wooded area close to the prison and is back in custody while prison authorities contemplate moving him to a maximum security prison. Considering he wore a T-shirt with “killer” written on it and made obscene gestures toward the victims’ families at his sentencing, I’m not sure why he was placed in a minimum security facility to begin with… Reuters

Malala YousafzaiBetter late than never! Pakistani authorities have arrested the Taliban militants who shot Malala Yousafzai in 2012. Gen Asim Bajwa said 10 members of a faction called “Shura”, which the army says is part of the Pakistani Taliban, had been arrested in a joint operation with Pakistan’s army, police and intelligence services. The Pakistani teenage activist, who was targeted by the group because of her campaign for women’s rights and equal education for girls, survived the gunshot wound to the head after being airlifted to the U.K. for treatment. Now 17, Malala is based in Britain – mainly because she can’t return home to Pakistan because of Taliban threats to kill her and her family members. Ahhh, to be a teenager again. BBC News

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Oscar Pistorius Found Guilty of Manslaughter, Jail Time TBD

OScar Pistorius Boogers

The judge who cleared Oscar Pistorius of murder charges yesterday found him guilty of manslaughter, or culpable homicide as they call it in South Africa, in the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

In her ruling, Judge Thokozile Masipa said that Pistorius was negligent when he fired several shots into that locked toilet room, but ultimately the state had failed to prove he intended to kill.

“A reasonable person, with a similar disability, would have foreseen that the person behind the door would be killed, and the accused failed to take action to avoid this,” the judge declared.

So while Pistorius acted “negligently” when he shot his girlfriend through a toilet door, the judge believed he really thought there was an intruder inside. Cut to Ray Rice kicking himself for not coming up with that excuse first – “I totally thought my fiancée was an elevator intruder!”

Judge Masipa also granted Pistorius bail after the conviction so now he’s free to roam the countryside until his sentencing on October 13. The athlete could receive up to 15 years in prison or he could just get a small slap on the wrist, pay a fine, and avoid jail entirely – in which case we can all congratulate South Africa on their first O.J Simpson.

As for Reeva Steenkamp’s family, they were less than pleased with the verdict, telling reporters of their “disbelief” that the court had believed Pistorius’s version of events.

“This verdict is not justice for Reeva,” June Steenkamp said. “I just want the truth. He shot through the door and I can’t believe that they believe it was an accident.”

And neither can anyone else…

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Rob Ford Quits Mayoral Race

Current Event Cat - Ford Quits Mayoral Race

Torontonians will no longer have to struggle with the decision of whether Ford more years of terrible leadership is worth Ford more years of hilarious crack stories. Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor Rob Ford has officially withdrawn his name from the Toronto mayoral race – but surprisingly not because of his alcoholism and crack use.

In light of the pseudo-mayor’s recent health problems, Ford’s campaign pulled a surprise move on Friday just before the 2 p.m. candidate deadline and submitted paperwork to take his name off the ballot for the Oct. 27 vote.

But that’s not the end of the Fords. Rob Ford’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, is replacing him in the Toronto mayoral race. Essentially, Toronto is now facing it’s worst possible nightmare: a healthier, more sober, more aggressive Ford running for mayor. But luckily, Doug doesn’t have the same kind of “star quality” or cult following that his brother did. Back in May, a Forum Research poll suggested that Doug Ford would fare considerably worse in the mayoral race than his brother, who was polling in second place, behind John Tory but ahead of Olivia Chow, when stomach pain sent him to the hospital Wednesday.

As for the fate of Rob Ford, the crack-addict is currently holed up in Mt. Sinai Hospital with what doctors are calling an abdominal tumour.

Doug Ford told the Toronto Sun that the mayor could be facing “a surgery and chemotherapy and could be on his back for six to eight weeks” and his brother “is in for the fight of his life.”

And unlike the fight for the mayoral seat, this is one fight where crack use and drunken stupors won’t improve your chances of success.

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Abortions for All in Missouri! Pending a 72 Hour Wait… And Other News

Missouri Abortion Wait

Need an abortion in a hurry? Don’t count on one in Missouri.

Conservative lawmakers in Missouri have increased the state’s required waiting period for getting an abortion from one day to three days – no exceptions, not even for rape or incest. The Republican-controlled legislature overrode Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto to enact a 72-hour delay. The governor denounced the measure as “extreme and disrespectful” toward women. About half the states already have abortion waiting periods of 24 hours. Once Missouri’s new requirement takes effect, the state will be the second most-stringent behind South Dakota, where the waiting period does not count weekends or holidays. I would imagine most women have already thought long and hard about their decision by the time they get to the clinic, so I’m not sure what an extra 48 hours of soul-searching will accomplish. Maybe just some undue hardship? According to Planned Parenthood, which operates Missouri’s only licensed abortion clinic in St. Louis, its patients travel an average of nearly 100 miles for an abortion, so the extra delay could force them to either make two trips or spend additional money on hotels. ABC News

Catholic PregSpeaking of not doing things the “Catholic way”, a Detroit-area teacher says she was fired from her post at a private Catholic all-girls high school after she and her lesbian partner announced they were expecting a child through non-traditional means. After she was canned, the teacher posted on Facebook that she had been forced from her job after she become pregnant “outside the Catholic way.” The school has not publicly commented on her termination, but apparently they have a morality clause that states teachers “will not publicly engage in actions, or endorse actions or beliefs contrary to the teachings and standards of the Roman Catholic faith and morality.” So teachers of the Detroit, please stick to getting pregnant “the Catholic way”: no birth control, millions of unintended pregnancies, quick spreading STDs, pedophilia welcome, and pregnancy through rape is fine. HuffPo

Dogs Rabies ChinaGoodbye rabies, hello thousands of dog corpses! Authorities in China have killed almost 5,000 dogs after rabies was blamed for the death of five people. Four people died in June and one in July, and multiple dog bites were reported. As a result, municipal authorities in Baoshan, in the southwestern province of Yunnan, killed 4,900 dogs and vaccinated 100,000 more as part of its anti-rabies campaign. Mass dog killings are nothing new in China. The Chinese government often orders stray dogs to be culled in order to prevent outbreaks of rabies. In 2009, officials in the northern city of Hanzhong reportedly killed 37,000 in an effort to rein in the rabies. CNN

Terri-Jean BedfordA sex scandal has hit the Canadian Snooze-fest Senate! A former sex worker who is challenging Canada’s prostitution laws was kicked out of a Senate hearing after she threatened to name politicians who hire prostitutes. Terri-Jean Bedford, the stunning dominatrix who won a Supreme Court battle to overturn Canada’s prostitution laws, engaged in some disorderly conduct during the hearing. Bedford was expelled after she argued and interrupted another senator, became increasingly combative, and tried to go over her allotted time. How rude! But before the self-proclaimed “most famous dominatrix in Canada” was kicked out, she threatened to expose politicians who supposedly avail themselves of the world’s oldest profession. “If this law passes I’m going to make you guys forget about Mike Duffy, because I’ve got more information and more proof on politicians in this country than you can shake a stick at, I promise,” she said. I wonder if Rob Ford is on that list? Toronto Star

Sick FordSpeaking of Rob Ford, how’s that guy doing? Not too well apparently. The Toronto mayor was admitted to the hospital Wednesday after doctors found what they believe to be a tumour in his abdomen. “Examination and investigation has resulted in a working diagnosis of a tumor,” according to a statement from Humber River Hospital on Wednesday. “The mayor has been admitted to allow for further investigation to obtain a definitive diagnosis.” No word yet on what impact the tumour will have on his rampant alcoholism and crack-addiction, but there is already speculation on what it will do to his mayoral campaign, which (for some reason) has seen a resurgence in recent polls. If his health deteriorates, Ford may be forced to withdraw his name from the Oct. 27 mayoralty ballot… or even worse, his brother Coun. Doug Ford may be tempted to take his place. Noooooo!! CBC News

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And the Teacher of the Year Award Goes to…

Bad Teacher

It’s a tie! Between the sixth-grade teacher who made students draw a Venn diagram comparing George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler and the elementary school teacher in Utah who accidentally shot herself in the leg while in a restroom at the school.

A sixth-grade teacher at a Washington, D.C., middle school is in trouble after telling students to make comparisons between former president George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler for a class project, stating that “both men abused their powers.” Now, I’m no George Bush fan club member, but Hitler’s a pretty rough comparison – and comparing the two is a bit of a heavy assignment for 12 year-olds.

Screenshot 2014-09-11 13.48.32

Turns out several parents felt the same way.

“I think trying to compare Adolf Hitler to an America president is just not right,” one parent said. “I didn’t agree with Mr. Bush or his policies, but that was over the line.”

Bush HitlerIn a written statement, D.C. Public Schools said that the teacher acknowledged poor judgment and will apologize to students. Sadly, no one will get to see what the young 12-year-old minds came up with… they both enjoy painting?

Next up: A Utah elementary school teacher who accidentally shot herself in the leg when her concealed weapon discharged in a faculty bathroom. The teacher at Westbrook Elementary School was severely injured when the bullet entered and exited her leg. She was rushed to a hospital where she is now in good condition.

The teacher was a concealed-carry permit holder, and school district policy her allowed to have a gun on campus. Apparently Utah is among the few states that allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry guns in public schools. According to state law, schools must allow teachers with permits to carry firearms, because if there was ever a place where a loaded gun was needed, it’s an elementary school in Utah.

Okay, this teacher (and the entire state of Utah) win this competition hands down. Actually, better to keep your hands up, the elementary school teachers are packing.

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