Beyond the Bubble: September 30, 2011

By Hana Skoblow

—On Sunday, Sept. 25, King Abdullah granted women in Saudi Arabia the right to vote and run in municipal elections with permission of a male guardian. Though still not allowed to drive cars, ride bicycles, compete in major sporting events or go nearly anywhere without a male chaperone, Saudi women are hoping this milestone will spark more change to narrow the gender gap.

—In tough economic times, Hallmark has launched a series of sympathy cards for the recently unemployed. An example includes a smiling cartoon dog saying: “Don’t think of it as losing your job. Think of it as a time between stupid bosses.”  Though that may not be what anyone who has been laid off wants to hear, the cards are selling well.

—Leisha Hailey, actress starring in “The L Word”, was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for kissing her girlfriend. Southwest claims Hailey was asked to leave for making other passengers feel uncomfortable while Hailey calls it discrimination and demands a public apology and refund. Ironically, Southwest is the official airline of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and pride themselves on their “outreach and commitment to the GLBT community.”

—The EU-mediated talks between Kosovo and Serbia have been halted after a border clash wounding 16 ethnic Serbs and four NATO peacekeepers. NATO claims to have used only tear gas and rubber bullets,but six of the injured ethnic Serbs were shot with live rounds. The violence was sparked when NATO’s K-For mission used bulldozers to remove the roadblock built by Kosovan Serbs, restricting access to two border posts in Jarinje.

Sources: NYTimes,, BBC,



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