Rape victim receives 101 lashes for becoming pregnant
A 16-year-old girl who was raped in Bangladesh has been given 101 lashes for conceiving during the assault.
By Dean Nelson, South Asia Editor www.telegraph.co.uk
Published: 4:30PM GMT 25 Jan 2010
The girl’s father was also fined and warned the family would be branded outcasts from their village if he did not pay.
According to human rights activists, the girl, who was quickly married after the attack, was divorced weeks later after medical tests revealed she was pregnant.
The girl was raped by a 20-year-old villager in Brahmanbaria district in April last year.
Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper reported that she was so ashamed following the attack that she did not lodge a complaint.
Her rape emerged after her pregnancy test and Muslim elders in the village issued a fatwa insisting that the girl be kept in isolation until her family agreed to corporal punishment.
Her rapist was pardoned by the elders. She told the newspaper the rapist had "spoiled" her life.
"I want justice," she said.
Doomsday clock: countdown to nuclear destruction shifted back one minute
The Doomsday Clock, a timepiece measuring how close humanity is to nuclear destruction, has shifted back one minute.
Published: 7:00AM GMT 15 Jan 2010
Anti-nuclear campaigners welcomed forecasts by the symbolic clock, created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1947, that the current threat had lessened.
The gimmick was built in New York two years after the US dropped the first atom bombs on Japan in World War Two and was first set at seven minutes to midnight.
In 2007 it was wound on to five minutes to midnight, to reflect the failure to solve problems posed by nuclear weapons.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) said the hands on the clock were now being moved back to six minutes to midnight.
Kate Hudson, from CND, said: ”This shift reflects the significant improvement since the end of the Bush era. Both Presidents Obama and Medvedev are committed to nuclear abolition and have put the issue firmly at the centre of the international political agenda.
”From the aggressive escalation of the Bush years we have seen a significant change in the US administration’s approach to nuclear weapons. Now almost all states are pushing in a more sane direction.
”The progress towards major US-Russian reductions in warheads is creating an improved international climate ahead of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in May – but now we need to translate aspirations into results."
Snow stories: postman defies cold snap to deliver mail in shorts
A postman is refusing to let the freezing conditions change his daily routine of delivering the mail dressed in shorts.
Jason Urwin has vowed not to change the habit despite the severe weather Photo: NEWSTEAM
Jason Urwin, 38, has worn his uniform of blue shorts every day since he started work nearly four years ago.
He has vowed not to change the habit despite the severe weather, and was spotted trudging through the snow with bare legs on his rounds yesterday.
Mr Urwin, of Telford, Shropshire, said: "When I first started with the Royal Mail I did think it was cold and saw other postmen in shorts and thought what are they doing.
"But one year the shorts stayed on and then I just found it was my fingertips that got cold.
"I do get a lot of reaction from people asking are you not cold or are your knees knocking together, especially when it’s frosty or snowing."
Mr Urwin braved the arctic temperatures for four hours as he delivered to around 500 houses and businesses on his five mile round.
One of his customers, Dianna Young, 38, said: "It’s just weird in snow and ice seeing him in his shorts and he has been coming around for quite some years and I have never seen him in anything else.
"One day recently it was very frosty out and I saw him again in his shorts and it made me chuckle because he had every inch of him covered except for his eyes and his legs."
Couple taped up tortoises to smuggle into Britain
A couple kept seven wild tortoises in a hotel room while holidaying on a Greek island then tried to smuggle them into the UK, a court heard today.
A British couple tried to smuggle seven wild tortoises into the UK Photo: Eddie Mitchell
Herpetologist Michael Mates and his partner Carol Wormley, both 42 and from Walthamstow, east London, returned from Corfu with the animals hidden in luggage, magistrates in Harlow, Essex, were told.
Both were ordered to carry out unpaid work and banned from keeping reptiles for 10 years after admitting breaking laws designed to protect wildlife.
Prosecutor Angela Hughes said the Hermann’s Tortoises had been taken from their natural habitat in Corfu then packed in bags and suitcases. She said one was taped to stop it moving around.
Miss Hughes said the couple kept the creatures in a hotel room before taking them on to a plane and flying to Stansted.
She told the court that both were arrested when they landed at the airport in July.
Magistrates were told that Gates was a herpetologist who had a collection of reptiles.
Jeremy Sirrell, for Gates, said his client had been trying to rescue the tortoises after seeing them treated cruelly and had not intended to sell them.
Mr Sirrell said while on holiday Gates had picked up tortoises he saw being kicked around by boys, then bought more from a ”woman selling flowers”.
He said Gates had been ”stupid” by deciding to bring the tortoises home instead of going through proper channels.
David Dadds, for Wormley, said his client had ”gone along” with Gates’ wishes and had not understood that what she was doing was wrong.
Gates, who worked as a driver, admitted causing unnecessary suffering, failing to ensure animals’ needs were met and transporting live animals taken from the wild. He was ordered to carrying out 150 hours of unpaid work. Wormley, who worked in the retail industry, admitted failing to ensure animals’ needs were met and transporting live animals taken from the wild. She was ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work.