UAE men can ‘beat wives if no marks left’ [via Agence France-Presse]
The United Arab Emirates’ Supreme Court has ruled that “a man has the right to discipline his wife and children provided he does not leave physical marks.” “The court ruled that a man who “slapped and kicked his daughter and slapped his wife” violated his “right” under sharia, or Islamic law, to discipline his wife and children, as he beat his wife too severely and his daughter, aged 23, was too old for such discipline.” The UAE, AFP notes, follows a mix of secular and Islamic law.
The mighty American chestnut tree, poised for a comeback [via The Washington Post]
A new project breeding American chestnuts with a Chinese relative is providing new defense against an Asian blight that nearly wiped out the American variety nearly 60 years ago. Efforts to bring back the chestnut, of which there used to be more than four billion on the continent before disease nearly wiped the species out, had previously been unsuccessful. While the new hybrid plants appear to be thriving, scientists note that it could take over a century to even know if the hardwood could once again populate the nation’s forests.
Homer Simpson ‘is a true Catholic’ [via The Daily Telegraph]
L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s in-house Italian-language newspaper, has declared Fox’s cartoon sitcom “The Simpsons” an essentially Catholic show. “The Simpsons are among the few TV programmes for children in which Christian faith, religion, and questions about God are recurrent themes.” The paper specifically drew from a 2005 episode in which main character Bart and Homer convert to Catholicism for its attention to issues such as religious conflict, interfaith dialogue, homosexuality and stem cell research.