3 top stories from home and away
By P.M. Fadden
WORLD VIEW – Barbie better not
Toy company, Mattel launched a range of new Barbie dolls based on “inspiring women” – Mexican artist Frida Kahlo among them. But courts have barred sales in Mexico, ruling that members of her family own the sole rights to her image, reports BBC World Service.
Kahlo, who lived from 1907 to 1954, is considered among the 20th century’s great artists and was a member of Mexico’s Communist Party in her youth, proudly promoting indigenous Mexican culture through her art.
She also challenged gender norms of her time by wearing trousers and having relationships with other women as well as with men. Her work also chronicled her painful relationship with her body, disabled through spina bifida, polio and a bus accident.
At press, court’s ruling only applies in Mexico and may be appealed, although lawyers for Mattel have not yet commented.
NATIONWIDE – Mack Smack
Allison Mack, a U.S. actress known for the TV show Smallville, has appeared in court on charges of aiding a sex trafficking operation disguised as a mentoring group.
Ms. Mack is accused of helping Keith Raniere, the leader of the so-called self-help group, to recruit women who were then exploited “both sexually and for their labour”, the New York prosecuting attorney said.
The society was supposed to empower and strengthen the women who joined it, according to prosecutors.
But they allege Mr. Raniere oversaw a “slave and master” system in his group called Nxivm, where female members were expected to have sex with him and were branded with his initials.
Mack has pled not guilty to all charges as Raniere was arrested by FBI in Mexico in March.
At a brief hearing in a Brooklyn federal court, the judge ordered Ms. Mack, 35, to be held in custody pending additional hearings.
FRONTIER FOCUS – Nome prison unlocks outbreak?
State officials investigating an E. coli outbreak at the Nome prison claim to have identified the southwest Arizona farm that provided romaine lettuce believed to carry the bacteria.
That discovery, they say, offers a unique clue for federal agencies trying to pinpoint the source of a nationwide outbreak, according to Alaska Dispatch News.
The O157:H7 version of E. coli can cause swollen intestines, bloody diarrhea, kidney failure and possibly death. It has stricken more than 50 people in at least 16 states.
The controlled environment at the Northwest Alaska prison helped state officials quickly identify whole heads of romaine lettuce as the culprit. To date eight inmates at Anvil Mountain Correctional Center have been stricken by the especially nasty strain of E. coli, though none were hospitalized or have died.