Amy Davidson, The New Yorker online, yesterday (excerpt is last 2 paragraphs)
We have heard a good deal from the N.R.A. in the last couple of months about how a gun defends a home. Wayne LaPierre, the group’s executive vice-president and increasingly unhinged public face, has been out talking about how everyone needs a gun to be prepared for a coming time of financial crisis and natural disaster. South Africa and the United States are distinct countries with different gun cultures, but people are not so different. The array of objects within arm’s reach can turn a moment of rage to something worse in any country. A gun in the house makes it more likely that domestic violence will lead to murder. (The Times has a story this morning about how living with guns has also been connected to dying by suicide.) Oscar Pistorius’s gun did not keep Reeva Steenkamp safe. Living in a house with many guns did not keep Kasandra Perkins safe when Jovan Belcher, the father of her child, shot her and then himself.
There is much to admire in the confidence that made Pistorius believe that he could challenge world running federations, and make them let him run. There was a clarity there, and inspiration, and the right kind of pride. (This morning, someone reportedly took a Nike ad with the line “I am the bullet in the chamber” off of his Web site.) There will be plenty of talk, too, about what brings athletes to both the highest levels of sports and to a place of domestic tragedy—publicity, pressure, even the unsettling question of performance-enhancing drugs and their psychological effects. That discussion is worth having. But what matters even more is what can happen in any home, in any room, with a man and a woman and a gun.
DUBAI: A Saudi imam has sparked uproar by appearing on television along with his wife – whose face was uncovered in an open challenge to strict tradition in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom.
Sheikh Ahmad al-Ghamedi, who has said covering the face is not a must for women under Islam, sat alongside his wife Jawaher bint Ali as she spoke to Dubai-based Saudi MBC television, in a program broadcast at the weekend [....]
By Elisabeth Rosenthal, New York Times, Dec. 15/16, 2014
....the numbers seemed backward: The community hospital had charged about $5,500, while the Harvard teaching hospital had billed $1,400 for the much more elaborate test. “Why would that be?” Mr. Charlap asked. “It really bothered me.”