AC 360° Correspondent
I am OUTRAGED by this story. I’ve been following it this week – finally, there is a decision and while it’s the one I wanted, I cant help but wonder if it was done for the right reasons.
In Yemen, a judge (thankfully!) dissolved the marriage of an 8 year old girl to a 30 year old man. The simple fact that any man could marry a child is disturbing enough, but to make matters worse, this marriage was consummated AND the girl’s father not only OK’ed it, he forced his daughter to marry a man almost four times her age. She should be playing with dolls and climbing trees, not being beaten and forced to have sex. It is sick and so, so wrong… and it happens more than we’d like to know.
The reason this scary reality is in the headlines is because this young girl is not your average 8 year old. Luckily, she was smart enough to know the marriage was wrong and strong enough to stick up for herself. Sadly, her family didn’t stand with her. This little lady didn’t let that stop her, instead she went to the court for help.
While the judge did end the marriage, he didn’t do it for the reasons you might imagine – not because she’s 8 or because he’s 30, not because the marriage was consummated, which in most circles is clearly sexual abuse, not because this man allegedly beat her, nope, none of the above. The judge dissolved the marriage because she "had not reached puberty." And the kicker? Her family has to pay “compensation” to the ex-husband! Ummm, yeah, I get it – here, take my daughter, violate her, mess her up for life and we’ll pay you!
Your tax dollars at work.
An Oklahoma sheriff resigns… after the sex-slave operation he was allegedly running from the jail becomes public – see here. Investigators say Michael Burgess even oversaw wet t-shirt contests at the Custer County Jail.
He’s facing 35 counts that range from bribery of a public official to 14 counts of rape. If convicted on all charges, the former sheriff could be sentenced to 467 years behind bars. Chances are, he won’t be duplicating his operations in that cell.
Another reason to feel great flying… and to be thankful for correspondents like Drew Griffin.
The bombshells keep coming – now we’re learning the government is so badly in need of air marshalls, they’ve resorted to using airport screeners to do the job.
Current and former air marshalls tell CNN the number of marshals is so low, the federal agency overseeing them has drastically lowered its firearms and psychological testing standards so it can find enough people to fill the positions. They also said many federal air marshals who have resigned and are not being replaced; instead, airport screeners are being brought on.
The TSA says that's just not true. Here’s the full story:
OK, this has been a grim news note, and you know I hate to be the downer in your day, so… a little pick-me-up before I leave you. My favorite book as a child was “Make Way for Ducklings” – my paternal Grandmother, whom I’m named after, gave it to me. When I was in college, I loved walking by the bronze Mallard family in the Public Garden in Boston, and I can’t wait to take my son to meet them.
So, in honor of the Mallards, Michael the policeman and my Grammy Hill… enjoy!
Filed under: Erica Hill
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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