This page contains news for
the period Monday, October 04, 1999 through Sunday, October 10, 1999.
<< October 1999 >>
Thursday, October 7, 1999
3 Jordanian females killed by relatives in
According to an Associated Press story published today in the
Seattle Times, police are investigating the deaths of two Jordanian women and a
12-year-old girl who were killed by male relatives for allegedly bringing dishonor to
their families. One of the victims was killed because she was unmarried and pregnant.
The killings are the latest so-called "honor
crimes" in this tribal-oriented society, where beating or killing women who are
perceived to have shamed their families is a widespread practice.
The story says that women in Jordan can become victims of
family retribution for as little as talking to a man or dating.
Under an archaic law rooted in Napoleonic times, Jordanian
men who prove in court that they killed female relatives to restore "family
honor" are usually jailed for just three months to a year.
But under pressure from a campaign launched by human-rights
activists, the government recently submitted a bill to Parliament that would close the
legal loophole and ensure that so-called "honor" killers face the full force of
The latest three killings brings to 16 the number of women
killed by male relatives this year.
The 12-year-old victim was identified as Kifaya by the Jordan
Times. The newspaper said she was beaten to death last week by her father and her
13-year-old brother in the northern town of Irbid. The girl's father reportedly told
police he beat his daughter "because she used to go out walking in the streets"
A 34-year-old woman identified as Hanan was shot dead by her
brother in Zarqa, 15 miles northeast of Amman, after he reportedly accused her of
The third killing involved a 21-year-old woman who was shot
to death by her brother because she was pregnant and was not married.
Tuesday, October 5, 1999
Same-sex workers at British railway win
equal benefits with heterosexual couples
According to a story published today by the BBC News,
employees who work for Britain's Southwest Trains will be entitled to receive benefits for
their same-sex partners. The company already provides benefits to unmarried opposite-sex
partners and spouses of its workers.
Telephone inquiry clerk Lisa Grant, 32, and her partner Jill
Percey, 40, will be the first in line to sign up for the new perks. They sued the train
company in the European Court of Justice but lost the case last year. Despite the ruling,
the train company has voluntarily changed its position and will now offer employee
benefits on a gender-neutral basis to all unmarried couples who live together.
The parent organization, the Association of Train Operating
Companies (ATOC), told reporters that all of its companies must fall into line with the
An ATOC spokesman said: "It's a case of railways moving
with the times. We think we are providing the conditions our staff and customers would
expect in the modern age."
The move brings the train companies into line with many other
forms of public and private transport.
For example, London Transport already grants same-sex or
unmarried partners of employees all-zone travel passes. Couples need to reside at the same
address as the employee. Full pension benefits also apply.
Virgin Atlantic employees can nominate a travel partner or
the same or opposite sex to receive free and discounted flights. The company's health care
scheme also applies to same sex or unmarried partners.
Unmarried employees at British Airways can nominate a
relative or partner of either sex to enjoy discounted travel.