MONDAY, JULY 28 This week of bad Samaritans, clever devil's advocates, and an allegedly anti-Hispanic taco salesman kicks off with what has become a creepy trend in American culture: bystanders passively filming alleged public sexual assaults while doing nothing to stop them. As the Sun Chronicle reports today, a teenage girl attending a Keith Urban concert near Boston reported to police being raped by a stranger as a crowd of onlookers allegedly photographed and videotaped the incident. The 17-year-old and her 18-year-old alleged rapist met for the first time at the outdoor venue and "began kissing near a concession stand before moving to the lawn," the Chronicle reports. He then "allegedly took the girl's hand and led her away from her friends to another section of the lawn, promising to bring her back... the girl told police she went with the defendant because 'she was afraid of what would happen' if she didn't go." A short while later, a woman intervened and "asked the girl if she was consenting," the Chronicle states. "When the girl said no, the woman allegedly pulled the suspect off the girl, according to police." Authorities then sealed the venue, located and arrested the suspect, Sean Murphy, and confiscated photos and videos recorded by the crowd of hellishly bad Samaritans. For his part, Murphy says the sex was consensual and there was no force involved, and he has pleaded innocent to a rape charge.
TUESDAY, JULY 29 Speaking of special places in hell, the week continues with a surprising new champion of women: satanists. This week, the Satanic Temple unveiled its plan to use the US Supreme Court's recent Hobby Lobby decision, which gave select Christian businesses the power to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage to their employees on the basis of their religious beliefs, as grounds to battle onerous state abortion laws on behalf of women everywhere. As a letter on the Satanic Temple's website states, "An increasing number of states have passed 'informed consent' laws, requiring that women seeking abortions be subjected to state-mandated informational materials that are often false or misleading." The Satanists continue, "We believe that personal decisions should be made with reference to only the best available, scientifically valid information." The religious group encourages women seeking abortions who share these "deeply held religious beliefs" to print a letter from the group's website that informs the women's doctors that they are to be exempted from receiving informed-consent materials, as the misleading pamphlets are nothing more than "political information." As ABCNews explains, "If the doctor still gives them the state-mandated forms in spite of the letter, the Satanic Temple says it will file a lawsuit on their behalf."
WEDNESDAY, JULY 30 Today takes us to West Virginia, where sheriff's deputies investigating an early-morning 911 call "in regards to a female allegedly walking a naked man on a leash" along a busy thoroughfare found themselves on the doorstep of Barbara Jean "B.J." Geardello, reports the Smoking Gun. Upon questioning, Geardello claimed that she had not "seen or heard" anything about a man on a leash, an accompanying police report explains. But the report goes on to say that a witness identified the 53-year-old woman—who had allegedly been clad only in a nightgown and walking a naked, leashed, hooded man who was bound at the feet and had "an unidentified object sticking out of his anus"—at the scene during the morning commute. After a second round of questioning, Geardello allegedly admitted to police that, yes, she had been out in her nightgown walking her hooded, naked, hobbled boyfriend on a leash with an unidentified object sticking out of his anus during peak morning commute time, which she described to police as a "sex game [that] they meant no harm by." The police report adds: "Geardello was also offended that a passerby had called her a freak." (Confidential to exhibitionists everywhere: If you're going to inflict your sex games on an unconsenting public, you cannot be offended when the public labels you a freak for it.) Prosecutors are considering charges.
THURSDAY, JULY 31 The week continues with allegations that someone's favorite franchise, Taco Bell, home of the Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme, fired a longtime employee for hiring the very people around whose ethnicity the fast food chain was loosely conceptualized. Details come from ThinkProgress, which reports that last year, 60-year-old Taco Bell general manager Juanita O'Connell, who is of Mexican descent, was allegedly ordered not to hire Hispanics. "In her complaint filed with the district court in Indianapolis, she alleges that last year her operations leader, Mark Lewis, told her not to hire Hispanics," the blog states. "When he came to her store and saw a Hispanic employee, he said, 'Didn't I tell you not to hire Hispanics' or something similar," allegedly in front of at least one witness, reports ThinkProgress. O'Connell was fired two weeks later for allegedly violating a manager code. She'd been with the chain for nearly 30 years. Taco Bell issued a statement saying that "these are very serious allegations and if true, are not a reflection of our culture or standards. We've launched an investigation to get the facts."
FRIDAY, AUGUST 1 Nothing happened today, unless you count the 72-hour unconditional humanitarian ceasefire brokered between Israel and Hamas forces in Palestine that unfortunately lasted just 90 minutes.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 2 In horror closer to home, today brings the first case of a human infected with the Ebola virus landing on US soil. The African-born virus is transmitted via body fluids like blood and saliva and causes severe internal hemorrhaging, eventually killing 90 percent of its victims. West Africa is currently battling the deadliest outbreak of the disease in history—an outbreak that has killed more than 729 people, including Sierra Leone's top Ebola specialist. As the Guardian reports, two American aid workers were infected with the virus while working with patients in Liberia. One of those workers, Dr. Kent Brantly of Texas, was transported to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta today, where he will be quarantined in a sophisticated isolation unit until he (hopefully) recovers. While a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control stressed that "Ebola poses little risk to the US general population," a spokeswoman with the World Health Organization warned this week that "this outbreak is moving faster than our efforts to control it," and "If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives but also severe socioeconomic disruption and a high risk of spread to other countries." Stay tuned, and mind your body fluids.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 3 Nothing happened today.