Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rape and Murder in Beijing

A glimpse of women's status in China: a hotel worker fights off rape, killing an assailant on May 10.

Though initially arrested for murder, Deng Yujiao now has an outpouring of support.

"Ms. Deng's lawyers have said she was acting in self-defense when the men tried to rape her after she refused to have sex with them for money," writes Loretta Chao in The Wall Street Journal, May 28. "The case has sparked public anguish over the issue of violence against women. Comments flooding in to Chinese Internet forums and blogs have been unusually sympathetic to Ms. Deng."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Roxana Saberi Is Free

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, with a little help from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, journalist Roxana Saberi has been freed from Evin Prison in Tehran.

Hallelujah, praise the Lord, Allah is great!

See today's LA Times report:,0,3372344.story

This startling turn-around happened Sunday in Iran.

Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, explained, "The amount of political will and maneuvering it takes to reduce an eight-year sentence to two years and then commute the last two years and release her on the spot is far greater than having a one-day kangaroo court and sentencing her in the first place."

Judges accepted the defense argument that the US is not a hostile state--and credit for that goes to President Obama and his attempts to reach out to Iran.

According to Borzou Daragahi and Ramin Mostaghim, LAT correspondents in the Middle East, a spokesman for Iran's judiciary said that the Islamic principles of compassion and mercy were also a factor.

Because newspapers are shrinking and cutting back, especially in areas like foreign correspondents, it would be good to write a letter to the editor and publisher thanking them for this report.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Elizabeth Edwards: Courage

Congratulations to Elizabeth Edwards for her courage in writing Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities, just released by Broadway Books.

Elizabeth has faced with strength the major crises that women fear:
--loss of a child
--breast cancer
--her husband's infidelity
--a parent's long terminal illness.

She also decided to bear two more children, at ages 48 and 50. That's courage!

And she has shared with us her private thoughts on these experiences twice, in this newest book and in Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers (2006).

I admire her courage tremendously, especially her choice to be open about her reflections after John Edwards' affair and her decision to work to repair the marriage.

Unlike Hilary Clinton and Elizabeth Edwards, I'd leave an unfaithful man very quickly. But I want to understand their choices, and Elizabeth has given us all the gift of an inside look at them.

Perhaps it's the urgency of death that prompts her to make this last extravagant gift.

Thank you, Elizabeth. I will rush out to buy your book.

Read the review in the Los Angeles Times or see her interviews on NPR and on Oprah.,0,5029044.story