• Gov. Linda Lingle announced yesterday that she has vetoed Hawaii's same-sex civil unions bill. Lingle's action came on the final day she had to either sign or veto the bill, which the Hawaii Legislature had approved in late April.
"There has not been a bill I have contemplated more or an issue I have thought more deeply about during my eight years as governor than House Bill 444 and the institution of marriage," Lingle said at a news conference. "I have been open and consistent in my opposition to same-sex marriage, and find that House Bill 444 is essentially same-sex marriage by another name." • According to an Amnesty International report on Kenya's slums, fear of rape is keeping many women from using communal toilets at night. "Women and girls in Nairobi's slums live under the constant threat of sexual violence," it stated. "Unable to leave their one-roomed houses after dark, many women in informal settlements resort to 'flying toilets' - using plastic bags thrown from the home to dispose of waste." As a result, many are being put at an increased risk for dysentery and cholera. • A Vatican official announced yesterday that Pope Benedict XVI will soon issue a document outlining the church's procedures for handling sex abuse cases. The document has apparently been in the works awhile now, and though the Vatican issued informal guidelines earlier in the year (which told bishops to follow the law, basically) the stricter policy is considered by many to be long overdue. • Today the ACLU of Alabama submitted a brief to the Alabama Criminal Court of Appeals urging them to reverse the conviction of Amanda Kimborough, who was convicted under a law that makes it a crime to allow children into houses where meth labs are operated. However, Kimborough is one of twenty addicted women who have been prosecuted under this law because they gave birth after using drugs - not because she lived in a meth lab or brought her child into one. • In Japan, a bride must change her name in order for the marriage to be registered. The battle over legal names has been raging for over a decade, with many claiming that amending the civil code to allow spouses to keep their names would "destroy the family system." Japan is the only country in the Group of Eight major industrialized nations that requires married people to have the same last name. • Worst first sentence of an article ever: "Despite the fact their bodies may be in decline, women are more likely to have sexual fantasies and affairs as they approach 40, a study showed." Hear that? Your bodies are in decline. Oh, wait, they just meant fertility-wise. According to this study, as you become less fertile, you become more sex-obsessed. • The European Union has approved a new test for cervical cancer, which many doctors hope will help fight the disease in poor countries where the vaccine isn't really an option. The test detects the DNA of the cancer-causing virus within a matter of hours, but it's still unclear what will happen to the women who test positive. • Do you want to build your own company? The New York Times blog "You're The Boss" has helpfully compiled a list of companies that support women-led businesses, from Astia to Springboard Enterprises. • Good news: South African runner Caster Semenya has been cleared for competition. The IAFF has released their verdict, and they apparently are a-okay with her biological sex. "I am thrilled to enter the global athletics arena once again and look forward to competing with all the disputes behind me," Semenya said in a statement released by her lawyers. •