• Even though the video game RapeLay (which allows you to stalk and assault multiple women and girls) was removed from Amazon and other outlets, the game remains a viral sensation, and is commonly available for download online.
Women's rights activists have called for stricter policing of game makers. Although Japanese laws require video games to blur genitalia, they currently place no restriction on game themes or subjects. • France's highest administrative body warns that a total ban on burqas risks violating the French constitution and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Their report said, "no indisputable legal basis for a general and absolute ban on wearing a complete face-covering veil as such could be found." In order to enforce such a law, they would need to prove that covering the face was a danger to public security. • From a study on the mating habits of crayfish: "Our results confirm that females initiate courtship behavior; males will only attempt to mate if they receive urinary signals from the female. Females, however, send a mixed message by releasing an aphrodisiac while also acting very aggressively towards the males." That's right, their urine brings all the boys to the yard. • Publisher Bloomsbury has announced a new series of covers for Harry Potter, a move that they hope will help increase sales. They also plan to offer digital books for the iPad. • Last year, the Ugandan government decided to ban traditional birth attendants, partially because many of them lack the necessary training and can do more harm than good. However, for rural women, TBAs could be the only option, and in a country with such a frighteningly high maternal mortality level, some believe TBAs should be allowed to continue practicing. • The story of a 16-year-old Afghan girl who was sold into marriage to a much older man, captured after she ran away, and raped in prison, can be used to illustrate the injustices of the Afghan prison system, Reuters reports. Girls can be locked up for virtually anything, including the charge of "kidnapping" themselves. • A Belgian man has walked free after raping his 4-year-old daughter because he claims he had "sexsomnia" and didn't know what he was doing. He says he only woke up when he heard her screaming, "Papa, it's me!" But not everyone believes his story; the girl's mother is "shocked" at the ruling, and says it gives a "green light to all rapists and pedophiles who want to escape the law." • Nithyananda Swami, head of Hindu "knowledge center" Dhyanapeetam has resigned after several tapes showing Swami "frolicking" with two women were released. He claims the tapes were doctored, but his followers aren't happy - several hundred devotees attempted to ransack his house after the sex scandal broke earlier month. • A Canadian study found that minority women are less likely to gain access to medical care, and one in three South Asian, West Asian or Arab women say they have trouble accessing a doctor for urgent health care or to monitor medical issues. Furthermore, 15% of immigrants do not have a primary care doctor, which, in contrast to the 7.3% of Canadian-born citizens with the same problem, is alarmingly high. • Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has come out against the staging of Corpus Christi at Tarleton State University. Corpus Christi is a retelling of the story of Jesus's life and death, except set in small-town Texas. Oh, and Jesus (who is called Joshua because his mom thinks Jesus "sounds like a Mexican") is gay. Also interesting: the original play featured Michael C. Hall and Josh Lucas. • A 53-year-old convicted rapist from the Democratic Republic of Congo has won a court battle that will allow him to marry and stay in the UK. Alphonse Semo was jailed for eight years in Britain for raping a woman, but courts have allowed him to marry a Congolese woman with EU citizenship, thus granting him the right to stay in the country. • Congratulations, Sarah Palin: women are apparently taking up arms in record numbers, with 70% of gun shops reporting female customers. But only 10.8% of guns were purchased by women in 2008, up just a (cross)hair from 10.5% in 1980. • President Obama took a break from talking about education today to thank Dr. Jill Biden — for putting up with gaffe-spouting Joe. • Obama also says that while some Tea Partiers have "legitimate concerns," the organization is centered on a "core group" of birthers and people who think he's a socialist. • Former Jezebel editor Megan Carpentier reports that a judge has struck down patents on two genes that influence breast and ovarian cancer risk, overruling the argument that discovering a human gene is enough to patent it. • The IAAF stopped Caster Semenya from running at a meet in South Africa on Tuesday because they are still reviewing test results to determine whether or not she is eligible. This prompted Semenya to speak publicly, for the first time since August, about the IAAF's ruling. "I hereby publicly announce my return to athletics competitions," she said. "I am of the firm view that there is no impediment to me competing in athletics competitions." She also said her "fundamental and human rights" have been breached since her win in Berlin, "including [her] right to dignity and privacy." •