We Can All Use Some Good News

Good news #1:

“Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has pardoned a woman who was gang raped and then sentenced to six months in prison and 200 lashes for being alone with a man who was not related to her, in a case that sparked rare criticism from the United States, the kingdom’s top ally.”

But lest we forget we are talking about a religious fundamentalist regime, we get this jewel:

“”The king always looks into alleviating the suffering of the citizens when he becomes sure that these verdicts will leave psychological effects on the convicted people, though he is convinced and sure that the verdicts were fair,” al-Sheik told the Al-Jazirah newspaper.

The victim – known only as the “Girl of Qatif” after her home town in eastern Saudi Arabia – was in a car with a man in 2006 when they were both attacked and raped by seven men.

She was initially sentenced in November 2006 to several months in prison and 90 lashes for being alone in a car with a man with whom she was neither related nor married, a violation of the kingdom’s strict segregation of the sexes.”

Ugh :-(

Good news #2:

“A millionaire couple were yesterday found guilty of subjecting their two housekeepers to a modern form of slavery that included physical punishment amounting to torture and forcing them to work for 18 hours a day, seven days a week.

Manender Murlidhar Sabhnani and Varsha Mahender Sabhnani, both Indian born, were convicted on all 12 counts including forced labour and involuntary servitude. The couple, who own a multimillion dollar perfume business, face up to 40 years in prison. The case arose after one of the workers, named in court only as Samirah, escaped from the house in Muttontown, Long Island, and sounded the alarm.”

Well, now that they’re not getting any more taxcuts, how are the super wealthy supposed to afford hired help? Sheesh </snark>

And since I am mentioning slavery, books by Kevin Bales make excellent Christmas presents!

Update: Kevin Bales left a comment to this post, specifying, as I should have done, that he does not make a penny for the books he writes. All the proceeds go to the cause of liberating slaves. So, not only are the books excellent and life-changing (some reviews to come) but it’s definitely money well-spent! Buy them here!

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