A rocket launches in the 2010 Team America Rocketry Challenge.

Credit: lewishamdreamer on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC 2.0)



Hawaii‘s governor on Nov. 13 signed a bill into law making same-sex marriage legal. More than 20 years ago, Hawaii became one of the first states where gay and lesbian couples sought the right to wed, reported. The law will allow thousands of gay couples living in Hawaii and even tourists to marry in the state starting Dec. 2.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie called lawmakers to a special session for the bill and has vocally supported same-sex marriage.

More News to Cheer This Week:

Jorge Odón, 59, an Argentine car mechanic, built in his kitchen a device to ease obstructed childbirth. A tube that permits birth attendants to gently tug on an infant stuck in the birth canal, it has won the enthusiastic endorsement of the World Health Organization and major donors, and an American medical technology company has just licensed it for production, reported . Doctors say it has enormous potential to save babies in poorer countries.

Oklahoma lost another round in its effort to restrict abortions when the U.S. Supreme Court declined Nov. 12 to hear an appeal in a case that would force women seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound first, reported.

Turkey‘s parliament has lifted a ban on female lawmakers wearing trousers in the assembly, in a further liberalization of dress rules following a landmark decision to allow female deputies to wear the Islamic headscarf, reported .

Artist David Trumble morphs images of female figures in history with fictional female characters in order to translate real women’s contributions to society, the Utah-based reported .

Following a proposal from the social welfare ministry in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the country’s cabinet approved Hijras as a separate gender on Nov. 11, the . Hijras are those who are identified as male at birth, have a feminine gender identity, adopt feminine gender roles and wear women’s clothing.

In an effort to create safe public spaces for women in Papua New Guinea, the U.N. has sponsored a program for women-only buses, reported . The initiative aims to encourage women to commute to the marketplace where they can not only make purchases but also increase their financial independence and sell wares.


Police arrested five Senegalese women for allegedly being lesbians and violating the country’s anti-gay law, the reported . The women were taken from a restaurant in a district that has been labeled the epicenter for homosexuals. All of the women are unable to afford a lawyer despite a scheduled court case. They can be sentenced for up to five years and fined up to $3,000 for immoral homosexual activity.

More News to Jeer This Week:

Time magazine published a feature story in its Nov. 18 issue, titled “Gods of Food,” leaving out mention of any female chefs, reported . The list includes four women in other positions, such as coffee grower Adia Batlle and environmental activist Vandana Shiva.

Since Saddam Hussein’s death, the mistreatment of Iraqi women has increased, reported . Domestic abuse and prostitution have increased, illiteracy has soared and thousands of women have been left widowed and vulnerable.

Egypt has become the worst country for women’s rights in the Arab world, according to a poll of gender experts, reported . The , conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, found sexual harassment, high rates of female genital mutilation and a growth in conservative Islamist groups contributed to the low ranking.

In a Nov. 12 on budget cuts forced by sequestration, authors measured the toll on victims of domestic violence, finding that at least 148,090 victims will not be able to access services each year due to the across-the-board cuts.


Three women are trailblazers for what could be the first GOP firm with a mission of acquiring female voters, reported . The firm will use public opinion research, TV advertisements and consulting for Republican candidates so they can tailor their campaign to attract women.

Detroit’s Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said that Theodore P. Wafer, 54, of Dearborn Heights, faces charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Renisha McBride, 19, on Nov. 2, the reported .

Australia‘s Department of Defense has booted out six soldiers for their part in the so-called “Jedi Council,” an informal ring that shared offensive material including a video of secretly filmed sex acts, Australia’s reported .

A French court has ordered a German company to pay compensation to hundreds of women who were fitted with defective breast implants, reported . The plaintiffs in the civil case will be given an initial payment of 3,000 euros (around $4,050) per victim for surgery to have the implants removed.

JoAnn Pushikn, a self-diagnosed breast cancer survivor, is spearheading a New York state law that educates women about breast density, reported .

California Attorney General Kamala Harris is arguing against anti-choice activists’ religious arguments for denying abortion leading up to a U.S. Supreme Court review of federal health care laws for contraceptive insurance, reported .

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