Teacher held for raping ex-student
INDIA: A 22-year-old girl from New Delhi was raped by her former teacher, 40. The man used to give private lessons to the woman when she was a school student.
The woman had travelled to Rajasthan with her teacher where he took advantage of the situation and raped her. It is not clear why the woman chose to travel with her teacher in the first place.
The teacher has been charged with making an obscene video of the woman and blackmailing her into continuing the physical relationship with him over several years, reports The Times of India.
The woman objected to the relationship in 2008 but upon being blackmailed with the video, she continued to meet her former teacher's demands.
675 Pakistan 'honour killing' victims
ISLAMABAD: At least 675 Pakistani women and girls were murdered during the first nine months of the year for allegedly defaming their family's honour, a leading human rights group said.
The statistics highlight the scale of violence suffered by many women in conservative Muslim Pakistan, where they are frequently treated as second-class citizens and there is no law against domestic violence.
Despite some progress on better protecting women's rights, activists say the government needs to do far more to prosecute murderers in cases largely dismissed by police as private, family affairs.
"A total of 675 women and girls were killed in the name of honour across Pakistan from January to September," a senior official in the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan told AFP.
They included at least 71 victims under the age of 18.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is unauthorised to speak to the media, said figures were still being compiled from October to December, and that a full report would be released in February.
The Commission reported 791 honour killings in 2010 and there was no discernible decrease this year, the official added.
Around 450 of the women killed from January to September were accused of having "illicit relations" and 129 of marrying without permission.
Some victims were raped or gangraped before being killed, he said. At least 19 were killed by their sons, 49 by their fathers and 169 by their husbands.
Rights groups say the government should do more to ensure that women subject to violence, harassment and discrimination have effective access to justice.
Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch, told AFP that the state's inability to enforce rule of law, leaving matters in the hands of tribesmen and local elders, was a major factor.
"We have a system in Pakistan where the state and judicial recourse are absent and the vacuum is filled by local elders," he said.
"A combination of legal reforms, exercise of administrative authority and social awareness can greatly help check the honour killings," he added.
Earlier this month, a Belgian court sentenced four members of a Pakistani family to prison for the murder of their daughter and sister, who defied them by living with a Belgian man and refusing an arranged marriage.
Lost and found voice after 3 decades
MAINE: A woman suffered from such a severe bout of laryngitis that one of her vocal cords was paralyzed and she lost her voice completely.
She only managed to regain her voice after 30 years when an implant was placed in her throat which was designed to push the paralyzed cord back into place and allow the cords to touch again, thus creating sound, reveals FoxNews.com.
Betty Lou Trufant sounds very different from what she did three decades back. But she is not complaining after spending the better part of her life in silent zone.
After years of not speaking, Trufant said she is making up for lost time – she is chattier than ever and plans to sing many Christmas carols.
Facebook post saves kidnapped woman
SALT LAKE CITY: A Utah woman used Facebook to get help after she and her 17-month-old son were held hostage at a residence for nearly five days, police said.
Police Sgt. Jon Arnold said the woman hid in a closet with a laptop to post her plea for help on the social networking website, saying she and her son would be "dead by morning" if they were not rescued.
The post prompted someone to call police, who went to the home to check on the woman's welfare.
"Facebook was her only outlet that she had at the home," Arnold said. "It just happened that she was able to use it."
Police arrested Troy Reed Critchfield, 33, and booked him into jail Saturday for investigation of aggravated kidnapping, forcible sodomy, aggravated assault, domestic violence, child abuse, animal cruelty and other charges.
Salt Lake County Jail records show Critchfield initially refused to let police in the house.
The papers say the woman shook her head to indicate "No," when officers asked if she was OK.
After police separated the couple, the woman told officers she and her child had not been allowed to leave the home and that she repeatedly had been hit, choked and sexually abused over a period of nearly five days. Jail records show the woman also claimed Critchfield had taken her cell phone and the phone of a disabled child also in the home.
"She claims that any time she went to go to a door, he physically assaulted her," Arnold told The Associated Press on Monday.
The woman had bruises and other physical injuries consistent with allegations, but refused to go to a hospital for treatment, he said.
She also told officers that Critchfield grabbed the boy's arms and treated him roughly, while also refusing to let her feed the family dog, jail papers state.
Critchfield remained in jail on Monday. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
Utah State Court records show that in December 2010 Critchfield pleaded guilty to felony aggravated assault and obstruction of justice charges in connection with a domestic violence incident.
A judge sentenced Critchfield to a prison term of five years, but suspended the punishment for a 120-day jail term and three years of probation.
Disgraced ex-journalist fights for law license
SAN FRANCISCO: A former journalist who became the subject of a Hollywood movie after he was caught fabricating articles in the late 1990s is fighting to become a lawyer in California over the objections of a state bar committee.
Stephen Glass, whose ethical missteps at The New Republic and other magazines were recounted in the film "Shattered Glass" and an autobiographical novel, has challenged the bar committee's decision to deny him a license to practice law, the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/sfh2je ) reported Monday.
Glass attended law school at Georgetown University and passed California's bar exam in 2007. His application for an attorney's license was turned down by the state's Committee of Bar Examiners, which judged him morally unfit for his new profession.
But an independent state bar court ruled in Glass's favor in July and the California Supreme Court has since agreed to hear the committee's appeal. No date for oral arguments has been set.
The bar association's lawyers said in written filings that even though Glass' transgressions occurred when he was in his 20s, his attempts at atonement were inadequate and in some cases coincided with the publication of his novel. They faulted him for never compensating anyone who was hurt by his falsehoods.
Law and journalism "share common core values — trust, candor, veracity, honor, respect for others," Rachel Grunberg, a lawyer for the State Bar of California, told the Chronicle. "He violated every one of them."
The bar court that overruled the committee in July was persuaded, however, that Glass was genuinely repentant and had been rehabilitated. His appeal included character references from 22 witnesses, including two judges who had employed him, two psychiatrists, and Martin Peretz, who owned The New Republic when Glass' deception occurred.
In his own statement to the bar, Glass said he was "greatly ashamed and remorseful about my lying" but "forthright and candid about my years of misconduct."
Glass tried to become a lawyer in New York after he passed that state's bar exam in 2003, but withdrew his application when his request for moral character approval from the New York bar languished.
Now 39, Glass works as a law clerk at a Beverly Hills firm. His lawyers did not immediately respond to telephone and email messages for comment Monday.
Goat chooses freedom over Nativity role
US: A goat that apparently didn't want to be part of a Minnesota Nativity scene has headed for greener pastures.
The 3-year-old Angora goat was supposed to have a supporting role at Bethlehem Church in Fergus Falls. Instead it escaped its leash Saturday afternoon, and remained on the lam Monday.
The goat's owner is Jim Aakre of rural Underwood. He says he tried to chase it for about two hours, but the lack of snow made tracking difficult.
The wayward goat has been spotted several times since it escaped, but police haven't been able to collar it.
A Fergus Falls Journal report says Aakre and his wife also provided a llama and two puppies for the service.
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