Comments: Some cultural exchange after girls clobber cleric over hijab
Iranian women can be subjected to harsh punishment for small infractions of the country's Islamic dress code.
September 20th, 2012
07:46 PM ET

Comments: Some cultural exchange after girls clobber cleric over hijab

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. Here's a few exchanges we noticed today.

In a small Iranian town, a cleric asked a girl to cover herself more completely. She refused, and then eventually she and a friend double-teamed the man and clobbered him. The man, Hojatoleslam Ali Beheshti, says he asked politely, but ended up in the hospital. He ultimately declined to file a complaint, but said he didn't mind the prosecutor's investigation. This incident has many readers talking.

Girls beat up Iran cleric over dress code

Many readers cheered the girls' reaction, and others wondered what would happen next.

Johnusmc: "You go girls!!"

Superstition: "My thoughts exactly! I'm so happy to finally hear a version of this story that goes the other way. It’s too bad I now have to fear for their safety ..."

There were some theories about the cleric's intentions. FULL POST

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Filed under: Comments • Iran • Religion • World
Amish leader, 15 followers convicted of hate crimes in beard attacks
Samuel Mullet Sr. is one of 16 Amish charged with federal hate crimes in last year's beard-cutting attacks.
September 20th, 2012
03:27 PM ET

Amish leader, 15 followers convicted of hate crimes in beard attacks

Sixteen members of a breakaway Amish community in rural eastern Ohio, including its leader, were convicted of federal hate crimes Thursday for the forcible cutting of Amish men's beards and Amish women's hair.

Sam Mullet Sr. and the 15 followers were found guilty of conspiracy to violate federal hate-crime law in connection with what authorities said were the religiously motivated attacks on several fellow Amish people last year.

The verdicts were read in U.S. District Court in Cleveland following several days of jury deliberation and a trial that began in late August, a U.S. attorney's office said.

Prosecutors said the 15 followers, at Mullet's instruction, shaved the beards and cut the hair of Amish people who had left his group over various religious disagreements. Five attacks happened in four Ohio counties between September and November 2011, authorities said.

To the Amish, a beard is a significant symbol of faith and manhood, and the way Amish women wear their hair also is a symbol of faith, authorities said.

The assaults violated the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which "prohibits any person from willfully causing bodily injury to any person, or attempting to do so by use of a dangerous weapon, because of the actual or perceived religion of that person," according to the office of the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.


Attack on U.S. mission in Benghazi
September 20th, 2012
02:41 PM ET

Clinton: No sign that Stevens believed he was on an al Qaeda hit list

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday she has "absolutely no information or reason to believe there is any basis" to suggest that U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens believed he was on an al Qaeda hit list.

The remark came after a source familiar with his thinking told CNN that in the months leading up to his death, Stevens worried about constant security threats in Benghazi and mentioned that his name was on an al Qaeda hit list.

Stevens spoke about a rise in Islamic extremism and al Qaeda's growing presence in Libya, the source said.

The White House, for the first time Thursday, declared the attack that killed Stevens and three other people a terrorist attack.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Libya • Terrorism • World
Paris Hilton defends 'gay guys' comment
September 20th, 2012
02:16 PM ET

Paris Hilton defends 'gay guys' comment

Paris Hilton's comments about gay men who use a cell phone app for sexual hook ups were expressions of concern about the dangers of unprotected sex, not homophobic slurs, her publicist said Thursday.

The Hollywood socialite said, "Gay guys are the horniest people in the world," called them "disgusting" and suggested "most of them probably have AIDS" in the short conversation secretly recorded by a New York cab driver two weeks ago, according to RadarOnline.

The online celebrity gossip site did not identify the driver or reveal how much, if anything, was paid for the recording published Thursday.

Hilton's publicist, in a statement sent to CNN Thursday, confirmed the recording was authentic, but said, "It was not her intent to make any derogatory comments about all gays."

"Paris Hilton is a huge supporter of the gay community and would never purposefully make any negative statements about anyone's sexual orientation," the statement said.

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Filed under: Entertainment • U.S.
September 20th, 2012
10:15 AM ET

Syrian gas station targeted in airstrike, killing or wounding 110, group says

The  Syrian government targeted a gas station Thursday in an airstrike in Ain Issa village in Raqa province ,killing scores of civilians, Syrian opposition activist networks said in a statement.

110 people have either been killed or wounded as the result of the incident in northern Syria, according to The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

20 people were killed in the incident, and that the number is expected to rise, the Local Coordination Committee of Syria said in a statement. The LCC also says that more than 70 others were wounded and are being treated at hospital.

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Filed under: Syria