China

Brickbats

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Cheng Meiyeng has traveled China setting up Protestant churches that refuse to affiliate with the official China Christian Council. For that, she was detained by police. After she was released, she was found to have severe head injuries, leaving her with complete memory loss and disoriented to the point that she "exhibits the appearance of insanity," supporters say. The police say they have no responsibility for her condition, but her supporters say she was beaten with a water-soaked rope whip and a police baton.

Kelly Dillery likes to take her 4-year-old daughter with her to the grocery store and to the library, and she often takes her to a local playground. But if the Sandusky, Ohio, police have their way, Dillery may not take her daughter anywhere any more. Kelly Dillery has muscular dystrophy and she uses a wheelchair. When she goes somewhere, she straps her daughter in for a ride. She generally travels on the sidewalk, but sometimes there is no sidewalk and she must travel on the street. That's where the police come in. For using her wheelchair in the street while the girl was on board, they've charged her with child endangering, a crime that carries a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. Dillery has refused to plea bargain down to disorderly conduct or to stop taking her daughter with her.

Last year, the Alabama legislature decided to ban strip clubs. While it was at it, it barred the sale of items that stimulate the genitals. So if you want dildos, vibrators, ribbed condoms, and other such goodies, you'll have to go out of state. A group of women has taken the state to court over that law. Perhaps the legislature should show they aren't backing down by banning the sale of hot tub jets, stationary bicycles, and bathtub faucets.

Anthony M. Rizzo Jr. was fired from a job as an administrator by a high school in Fairfax County, Virginia, after seven female teachers accused him of making vulgar comments and touching them inappropriately. He denied the charges. In fact, he still denies the charges 10 years after they were made. But that hasn't stopped his lawyers from successfully getting him disability retirement pay of $38,000 a year for a "psychosexual disorder" that leaves him unable to supervise women without sexually harassing them. In court, a psychologist for Rizzo claimed that his denials are just proof of his sickness.

South Korean police arrested a teenager for creating a Web site that celebrates North Korea. He faces charges of "possessing or distributing data that can benefit, eulogize or encourage the enemy." Now that this dangerous criminal has been apprehended, police are looking for the 4,000 or so people who logged on to the site.

Under German law, prostitutes must pay taxes, but they don't qualify for any of the nation's generous social-welfare benefits. The new leftist government thinks that's unfair. So Christine Bergmann, the minister for women, wants to rectify the situation by giving hookers a legal right to unemployment, health, and retirement benefits. Bergmann also wants to ban pornography that shows "demeaning" acts against women.

Most TV shows now carry warning labels for violence, sex, and adult language. The Christian Action Network wants to expand that list. In a letter to the FCC, it asked for an HC rating to signal homosexual content. But figuring out what qualifies as homosexual content might be more problematic than CAN seems to think. Sure, some shows have openly gay characters (although they never seem to actually have sex). But what do we do about the lesbian overtones of Xena: Warrior Princess? The prissy, opera-loving Crane brothers of Frasier? Amateur wrestling? Or, perhaps most troubling of all, Teletubbies?

New York has become the first city in the nation to seize the cars of suspected drunk drivers. Mayor Rudy Giuliani says the city will likely return the cars of people who aren't convicted but that there are no promises.

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