Samantha Orobator Challenges Conviction • Group Will Sue Over Forced Removal Of Head Scarf

• Lawyers for Samantha Orobator, the pregnant woman jailed in Laos for drug smuggling, say the U.K. shouldn't recognize her conviction because she was subjected to a "disgraceful show trial," denied access to lawyers, and prevented from defending herself. •

• Orobator was sentenced to life in prison for smuggling heroin and returned to Britain to serve her sentence of life in prison in Britain a few weeks ago. She was originally facing a firing squad but was spared after she mysteriously became pregnant while in an all-women's prison. Her child is due next month. • Almost 4,000 women in England were forced to give birth outside of maternity wards last year. The number of women who gave birth in other hospital wards, hallways, waiting rooms, or in hospital parking lots increased by about 500 since 2007 and Conservatives are blaming hospital overcrowding and overextended midwives. • The Michigan chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations will sue Judge J. William Callahan, for forcing Raneen Albaghdady to remove her head scarf in June, saying "no hats in the courtroom." A lawyer for the council says, "This judge targeted a Muslim woman's religious attire, but he could just as easily have demanded the removal of a Sikh turban, a Jewish yarmulke or a Catholic nun's habit." Callahan's spokesman says he would have left her keep the scarf on if she had told him it had religious significance to her. • Sad irony? A 16-year-old blind and deaf dog belonging to Robin Starr, the CEO of the Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, died after he was left in a hot car for four hours. Starr's husband put the "Louie" in the car as she was getting ready because she often took him to work, but he forgot to tell Starr. By the time she realized Louie was in the car it was too late and he died of kidney failure. • NCSU's Women's Center and other campus advocacy groups were not able to stop a showing of the film based on Tucker Max's book I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell or an appearance by Max taking place tonight on the campus. The groups say the film contains sexist and racist phrases and promotes rape culture. Though they couldn't shut down the event they'll be protesting, "everything about Tucker Max and what he stands for." • Canadian researchers say visiting grandparents may prevent toddlers from forming negative stereotypes about old people. "We've been able to show really early on that kids, when they're just starting to talk, have established beliefs about older people," said one researcher. "We're seeing what we could call ageism by about age three." • Florida's appeals court will review the state's ban on adoptions by homosexuals. In 2008 a Miami-Dade County judge ruled that a law banning Martin Gill and his partner from adopting two young boys is unconstitutional, but state attorneys say the judge was legislating from the bench and the decision should be make by lawmakers. • A Sydney, Australia couple is being sued by Roseville College for $20,000 in unpaid tuition, but the parents say they shouldn't have to pay because the school failed to stop bullying which led one of their four daughters hurting herself. The parents say teachers were aware that their daughter was being harassed in 7th and 8th grade but did nothing and the girl's adviser told her to "simply ignore the bullies." After more bullying, the girl cut herself several times with a razor. • Ronald Douglas McGowan of Southern California will stand trial for the rapes of four women, including one who prosecutors say bit off part of his tongue in self-defense during an attack in her apartment. He was arrested in the emergency room where he went for treatment. His tongue couldn't' be reattached. • Researchers have found that Runaway Intervention Program, a program in which nurses help sexually exploited runaway girls reconnect to family, school, and healthcare effectively reduces trauma. "Remarkably, by six and 12 months into the program, the girls had improved so much that in most areas they were indistinguishable from girls in school who had never been abused," said a researcher. • In a revised edition of her biography, Veronica Lario says she wants a divorce from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has been involved in several sex scandals, because "I cannot condemn myself to be his wetnurse and I cannot stop him from making himself ridiculous before the world." •