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US: The FBI's Restrictive Definition Of Rape

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© Getty Images
As April, which has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness month, winds down, numerous women's rights advocates are calling attention to the FBI's restrictive definition of rape -- a definition that they say inadequately encompasses all forms of the crime.

When Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) incited outrage by proposing to confine the definition of rape to instances of "forcible rape" in H.R. 3, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion" Act, it was a little-known fact FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) had been using this classification since 1929 -- making the definition, as Ms. Magazine points out, almost as old as sliced bread.

The UCR's summary reporting system, which functions as the rubric for measuring national crime data, defines rape as "the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will."

It continues: "Attempts or assaults to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included; however, statutory rape (without force) and other sex offenses are excluded."

While organizations including the Feminist Majority Foundation and the Women's Law Project in Philadelphia have been petitioning to change this outdated definition -- which excludes incidences of oral or anal rape, rape with a foreign object, and discounts all rapes of men -- for over a decade, even testifying about the necessity of broadening the definition's scope to a Senate subcommittee last September, they have reignited their campaign after seeing the reaction to H.R. 3.

Pistol

US, Massachusetts: Violent Teens Top Threat Here

While fighting terrorism is the FBI's top priority for the nation, battling street warfare is its most pressing worry in Greater Springfield, according to the agency's regional chief.

Richard DesLauriers, the FBI supervisor out of Boston, said during a recent interview that counterterrorism, counterintelligence and cyber crime top the list of national threats, but teens with guns are this city's most persistent menaces, prompting the agency to increase resources to combat that in Western Massachusetts.

"We're acutely aware the most significant problem here is violent, street-based and neighborhood gangs," said DesLauriers, a Longmeadow native and Cathedral High School graduate, and the FBI supervisor in charge of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine.

DesLauriers met with the editorial board at The Republican along with Springfield FBI supervisor Mark Karangekis on Tuesday, four days before the outbreak of violence in Mason Square that left one man dead and another wounded. A suspect in the shootings was wounded by police after they said he shot a city patrolman and state trooper. Both officers were wearing protective vests and were not seriously injuried.

Vader

Muammar Gaddafi son killed by Nato air strike

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© Louafi Larbi/Reuters
A Libyan government picture shows a missile which officials said was from a coalition air strike on the home of Saif al-Arab Gaddafi. Editor's note: picture was taken on a guided government tour.

A Nato air strike in Tripoli has killed the youngest son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, a Libyan government spokesman has said.

Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, 29, was killed along with three of Muammar Gaddafi's grandsons, according to reports.

The Libyan leader was in the building at the time of the strike, but was unharmed. Several of Gaddafi's friends and relatives were wounded.

Nuke

Japanese Radiation Adviser Quits in Rebuke to Government

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© Agence France-Presse
Toshiso Kosako, Tokyo University professor and a senior nuclear adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, announces his resignation to Kan at a press conference in Tokyo, April 29, 2011

A key Japanese adviser on radiation leaks at the country's disabled Fukushima nuclear power facility has quit in protest over the government's handling of the disaster.

The adviser, Toshiso Kosako, a radiation safety expert at the University of Tokyo, said the government-set limits for radiation exposure at schools near the nuclear site are too high. At a tearful news conference late Friday, Kosako said he could "not allow this as a scholar."

Evil Rays

China detects 30 radioactive contamination cases

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Beijing -- China has detected 30 cases of radioactive contamination in passengers, vessels and containers that have entered the country since March 16, quarantine authorities said on Friday.

The contamination cases were reported after China's quarantine bureaus started to monitor radiation levels at nine entry ports including Beijing, Liaoning and Zhejiang, said Li Yuanping, a spokesman for the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

The first case involved a plane that arrived in the city of Dalian from Japan on March 16.

Yoda

US: AIPAC Doesn't Speak for Me

Hedy Epstein Aipac palestine
© Unknown
Hedy Epstein
At the end of one of my first journeys to the Israeli-occupied West Bank in 2004, I endured a shocking experience at Ben-Gurion Airport. I never imagined that Israeli security forces would abuse a 79-year-old Holocaust survivor, but they held me for five hours, and strip-searched and cavity-searched every part of my naked body. The only shame these security officials expressed was to turn their badges around so that their names were invisible.

The only conceivable purpose for this gross violation of my bodily integrity was to humiliate and terrify me. But it had just the opposite effect. It made me more determined to speak out against abuses by the Israeli government and military.

Yet my own experience, unpleasant as it was, is nothing compared to the indignities and abuses heaped on Palestinians year after year. Israel's occupation of the West Bank is based not on equal rights and fair play, but on what Human Rights Watch has termed a "two-tier" legal system - in other words, apartheid, with one set of laws for Jews and a harsh, oppressive set of laws for Palestinians.

This, however, is the legal system and security state AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee) will defend from May 22-24 at its annual conference. And, despite this grim reality, members of Congress will converge to hail AIPAC and Israel. The Palestinians' lack of freedom is bound to be obscured at the AIPAC conference with its obsessive focus on security and shunting aside of anything to do with upholding fundamental Palestinian rights.

Pistol

Adelaide, Australia: Mystery over motive behind gun rampage that left three dead

Police are trying to establish a motive after an Adelaide man allegedly killed three of his neighbours and left a teenage boy and policeman fighting for life after a shooting spree.

A woman at the house in the suburb of Hectorville survived the bloodshed but her parents and husband were killed and her 14-year-old son was shot and seriously injured. An 11 year-old boy staying at the house survived injury after hiding in a bedroom.

The woman - who has not been named - called police at about 2.30am after hearing gunshots. Although police arrived within two minutes, detectives believe the three victims were dead when they arrived.

X

Arizona, US: Border-crossers suffer mysterious injuries

Two undocumented immigrants who were taken to a Nogales hospital on April 21 following a raid on their encampment by Border Patrol said they couldn't recall how they received their injuries.

According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's office, Ernesto Lopez Reyes, 18, and Hugo Sanperio-Cruz, 20, both from Mexico, told deputies that they crossed illegally into the U.S. the day before the incident at about 7 p.m. After walking for a while, the men fell asleep near Washington Camp, east of Nogales in the Patagonia Mountains, alongside a group of approximately a dozen other undocumented immigrants.

"The only thing they remember is that they were sleeping and Border Patrol agents came upon them and they ran and ended up falling in the darkness," said sheriff's spokesman Lt. Raoul Rodriguez, who described the terrain where the men fell as a "rocky slope."

Attention

Suspects in Belarus subway blast charged with terrorism, face death penalty if convicted

Prosecutors in Belarus on Friday brought terrorism charges against two men accused of carrying out the Minsk subway bombing this month, and if convicted they could face the death penalty.

A bomb that killed 11 people and wounded more than 200 was placed on the platform at Minsk's busiest subway station on April 11.

Three suspected accomplices have been arrested, but they have not yet been charged.

Prosecutors have not identified any of the suspects, describing them only as Belarusian citizens under the age of 30 without previous convictions. The authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko, has described them as blue-collar workers.

In announcing the charges against the two men, Deputy Prosecutor General Andrei Shved said they carried out the bombing "with the goal of destabilizing the public situation and public order."

Camcorder

2 charged after Australian defence force cadet says she was secretly filmed having sex

Two Australian military cadets were arrested Friday after police said they were involved in a scandal in which a female cadet accused a fellow student of secretly filming her having sex and showing it to his friends.

The defence force has been plagued by a series of scandals in recent months, and the woman's accusations prompted the government to order investigations into the treatment of women in the military.

Daniel McDonald, 19, and Dylan de Blaquiere, 18, appeared Friday in Canberra's ACT Magistrates Court on charges they used a communication service to cause offence. McDonald is also charged with an act of indecency.

The charges came three weeks after an 18-year-old woman alleged that a fellow first-year cadet at the Australian Defence Force Academy with whom she had consensual sex secretly filmed their encounter and transmitted it via Skype to six other students.