Disney+ is beefing up its content for more mature audiences. The fast-growing streaming service announced Thursday that it added the “Deadpool” and “Logan” movies to its lineup. Starting Friday, Hugh Jackman’s final film in the “X-Men” franchise and Ryan Reynolds’ star turn as the most unconventional antihero in the Marvel universe joins other superhero flicks, including more family-friendly fare such as “Black Panther,” “Iron Man” and “Ant-Man.” “With the addition of these new titles, subscribers are invited to revisit their parental controls settings to ensure a viewing experience most suita...
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Dressed in jeans, sweatpants and abayas, dozens of Ethiopian schoolgirls practice the art of nailing a landing and finding their balance -- and their confidence -- as they zip across a skatepark in Addis Ababa.
Some gingerly slide forward a few meters, holding a friend's hand for support, while others zoom across ramps and concrete bumps at full speed.
Members of Ethiopian Girl Skaters, an all-female group set up by skateboarders Sosina Challa and Micky Asfaw, the girls -- some as young as six -- are pushing back against gender stereotypes and having fun doing it.
Challa, 24, told AFP she set up the organization to empower young women, who often struggle to take up extreme sports because of a commonly-held belief in Ethiopia that "girls should stay home and help their parents".
Since she co-founded the group in December 2020, she and the other mentors in the organization have taught more than 150 girls how to skate.
Hanna Bless, a 22-year-old stylist who started skateboarding two years ago, told AFP: "It's not really common for a girl to start skating because people don't support you.
"But somebody had to be the first, some group had to start and we were the first one and I feel honored to be part of that," she added.
Although Ethiopia is home to many skateboarding groups, they are largely dominated by male skaters.
With time, the women skateboarders have learned to cope not just with the inevitable bruises the sport brings but also the criticism from naysayers.
Iman Mahamud, 17, told AFP that after 18 months of lessons, she no longer cared about "what people say about me being a girl and doing such stuff".
"It helped me defeat my fears," she said.
"I just enjoy it. It makes me happy."
© 2022 AFP
An appeals court in Florida has upheld a ruling that a 16-year-old girl is not "sufficiently mature" enough to get an abortion -- a decision that sparked the ire of some US lawmakers.
Two months after the Supreme Court overturned nationwide access to the termination of a pregnancy, the teenager's case is fueling new anger over women's rights in the United States.
The girl, who is not identified, told a lower court she was "not ready to have a baby," that she was still in school and had no job, and that the father of the child could not help her.
Minors seeking an abortion in Florida need the consent of at least one of their parents. But the girl is "parentless," lives with a relative and has a state-appointed guardian, court documents showed.
She was seeking a waiver of that rule -- but the lower court said she had "not established by clear and convincing evidence that she was sufficiently mature to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy."
On Monday, a state appeals court upheld that decision, igniting anger among US lawmakers.
"If you're infuriated because a court is forcing a teenager to carry a pregnancy to term after ruling she was not 'mature' enough to have an abortion, you're not alone. It is abhorrent," tweeted Democratic congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who has spoken openly about her own abortion.
Lois Frankel, a Democratic lawmaker from Florida, called the decision "unacceptable," adding: "This is a dangerous & horrific example of Florida's war on women."
"In what world is a 16 year old too immature to receive an abortion but mature enough to commit to carrying and raising a child?" asked Ohio Democrat Joyce Beatty, also on Twitter.
"Not mature enough for an abortion, but mature enough to have a baby. This is sick," agreed Pennsylvania lawmaker Malcolm Kenyatta.
The teenager had told the court that her guardian had given their consent for the abortion, but that consent did not appear to have been made in writing, court documents showed.
The girl was 10 weeks pregnant, according to the documents.
After the Supreme Court reversed the nationwide right to abortion in June, handing the decision back to the states, Florida changed its laws to ban the procedure after 15 weeks, when the previous cut-off was 24 weeks.
Other Republican-led states in the American South -- including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia -- have almost completely banned the practice or reduced the window to six weeks.
The New Jersey man accused of stabbing Salman Rushdie told the New York Post in an interview published Wednesday that he was "surprised" the author had survived the attack.
"When I heard he survived, I was surprised, I guess," Hadi Matar, 24, told the tabloid, which said they held a video interview with the jailed suspect.
The suspected assailant, who has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges, did not say whether he was inspired by the 1989 edict, or fatwa, issued under Iran's former supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, that ordered Muslims to kill the writer for what he deemed the blasphemous nature of the book "The Satanic Verses."
"I respect the ayatollah. I think he's a great person. That's as far as I will say about that," said Matar, who according to the Post was advised by his lawyer not to discuss the issue.
Matar told the paper he had "read a couple pages" of Rushdie's novel.
"I don't like the person. I don't think he's a very good person," he said of the author. "I don't like him. I don't like him very much."
"He's someone who attacked Islam, he attacked their beliefs, the belief systems."
Matar said he was not in contact with Iran's Revolutionary Guard. He said he had learned Rushdie would speak at the Chautauqua Institution's literary series via a tweet earlier this year.
He told the Post he had taken a bus to Buffalo one day prior to the attack, before taking a Lyft to Chautauqua.
"I was hanging around pretty much. Not doing anything in particular, just walking around," he told the paper. "I was just outside the whole time."
Last Friday as Rushdie was set to deliver a talk as part of a lecture series, a man stormed the stage and stabbed him several times in the neck and abdomen.
Rushdie was airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery for life-threatening injuries.
The 75-year-old's condition remains serious but he was taken off a ventilator, and has shown signs of improvement.
Matar told the Post he had watched YouTube videos of Rushdie speaking, and called the author "disingenuous."
On Monday Matar's mother, Lebanese-born Silvana Fardos of Fairview, New Jersey, described Matar as "a moody introvert" who became increasingly fixated on Islam after visiting Lebanon to see his estranged father, in an interview with Britain's Daily Mail newspaper.
He is set to appear in court Friday.