The Week in Review
MONDAY, AUGUST 26 This week of assaults on the eyes and humorless dictators gets off to a depressing start in Billings, Montana, with news that a high-school teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old female student would only serve one month in jail for his crime. In 2008, Stacey Dean Rambold, 54, was first charged with three felony counts of sexual intercourse without consent after the teen told a church counselor that she'd been sexually assaulted by a teacher, court documents reveal. But while the case was pending—and just a few weeks before her 17th birthday—the girl took her own life. As the Billings Gazette reports, prosecuting attorneys asked the judge to sentence Rambold to serve up to 20 years in prison, given that the victim's mother testified that her daughter's relationship with Rambold was a "major factor" in her suicide. But in explaining his insultingly lenient sentence, Montana district judge G. Todd Baugh said that he believed the teen was "older than her chronological age" and that she was "as much in control of the situation" as her middle-aged teacher. As the girl's mother would state after the sentencing, "I don't believe in justice anymore. She wasn't even old enough to get a driver's license."
•• In slightly redemptive news, Judge Baugh's comments will spark an immediate backlash, including protests, calls for his resignation, and requests that his sentence be reevaluated, reports the LA Times. On Wednesday, Baugh will apologize for his comments in an open letter to the Billings Gazette, conceding that they were "demeaning of all women." Then he'll go ahead and demean women some more by arguing that while a 14-year-old "obviously" cannot give consent, "I think that people have in mind that this was some violent, forcible, horrible rape... It was horrible enough as it is just given her age, but it wasn't this forcible beat-up rape."
TUESDAY, AUGUST 27 Shield your eyes, the week's about to get worse: Today brings reports that a 6-year-old Chinese boy's eyes were gouged out to sell on China's transplant black market. (Only about 10,000 out of 300,000 Chinese transplant candidates receive organs each year, mostly harvested from death-row prisoners—hence the thriving black market.) Police say the boy, who press reports call Binbin, was kidnapped and drugged while playing outside over the weekend. "His family found him covered in blood and crying in pain three to four hours later," reports the Daily Mail. "His eyes were found nearby with the corneas missing, police say, implying that an organ trafficker was behind the attack."
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28 Today, Americans celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic "I Have a Dream" speech, each in their own way. Labor groups across the country prepared for tomorrow's fast-food workers' strike; thousands of people, including presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter, gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to pay homage to King's call for equal rights for all people and a $2 minimum wage (which would be more than $15 today, adjusted for inflation); and thousands of other people who believe in neither of those things took the opportunity to post exceptionally racist garbage on the internet.
•• Also today, details from a British misconduct hearing revealed that an undercover Sunday Times of London reporter might've sexed up a dentist in order to persuade him to perform female genital mutilation on two young girls. The unnamed reporter originally approached the Somali-born dentist Omar Addow, 56, in his offices, reports the Independent, with a request that he ritualistically mutilate two girls, ages 10 and 13. The dentist was at first vocal about opposing the practice of female genital mutilation, reports say. Then things got weird: "When the reporter's stomach apparently started rumbling, Mr. Addow... examined her abdomen," states the Independent. "This led to him checking her breasts for abnormalities and performing a vaginal 'exploration' before inviting her back to his flat, it is claimed." Once at the flat, a hidden purse camera recorded the pair disappearing into the bedroom for an hour, after which the sarong-clad dentist was recorded on the handbag-cam saying, "I will do it for you. Between you, me and Allah only." Addow was subsequently arrested on suspicion of offenses contrary to the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, the Independent reports. "We did sex," the dentist said to police officers, which the reporter denied.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 29 The week continues with a horrifying dose of common sense: If you want to live a long and happy life, don't date dictators. Numerous media outlets today reported on a South Korean newspaper article alleging that Kim Jong-un's ex-girlfriend, Hyon Song-wol, was among a dozen well-known North Korean performers executed by firing squad for allegedly violating laws against pornography. Hyon, a singer with the Unhasu Orchestra, is said to have been arrested on August 17 with 11 others, the Telegraph reports. "All 12 were machine-gunned three days later, with other members of North Korea's most famous pop groups and their immediate families forced to watch," the paper states. "The onlookers were then sent to prison camps, victims of the regime's assumption of guilt by association." Condolences to everyone.
•• Speaking of dictators behaving badly, Russian artist Konstantin Altunin was forced to flee Russia and seek political asylum in France after his painting depicting President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in women's underwear was seized by police. "Altunin said he flew out of Russia as soon as he heard that the exhibition had been shut down on Tuesday evening and the organisers had been detained by police and questioned into the night," reports Yahoo! News. "He said that the police had described the exhibition at the newly opened Museum of the Authorities as extremist and he feared criminal charges."
FRIDAY, AUGUST 30 Here's another horrifying dose of common sense: Don't use your butt as a bank account—the returns are shitty. As the Smoking Gun reports today, a Tennessee woman was hospitalized and now faces criminal charges for allegedly stealing $5,000 in cash from her boyfriend and shoving it up her rectum for safekeeping. When 43-year-old Christie Black was confronted about the theft by her boyfriend, Black reportedly "admitted to him she'd wrapped it up and stuck it in her rectum," the police report states. She also became ill and "threw up a Saran wrapped baggy of partially dissolved pills." Black then attempted to retrieve the cash—which was rolled up in $100 denominations—using a toilet brush and a set of tongs. "She was bleeding severely and was transported to the Hawkins County ER," the police report states. "There the wad of money was removed and collected as evidence."
SATURDAY, AUGUST 31 Nothing happened today except an incredible performance by Heart at Bumbershoot.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 Nothing happened today.