26 May, 2004

Domestic woes

The Supreme Court of Appeal will on Thursday hear an appeal by Mary Alexandra Hancock against her conviction in the Randburg regional court for the murder of her husband (News24 2004-05-20).

Statistics showed that one in every four women in SA was in an abusive relationship, with one woman being murdered by her partner every six days. This pattern was similar worldwide, Amnesty International secretary-general Irene Kahn said (Business Day 2004-05-20).

The Road Accident Fund (RAF) is technically bankrupt and is operating on a technical deficit of about R16.6bn says forensic investigator Ignatius Leopoldus Rautenbach (News24 2004-05-18).

Edging closer to a direct confrontation with Microsoft, Google, the Web search engine, is preparing to introduce a powerful file and text software search tool for locating information stored on personal computers (New York Times 2004-05-19).

YouSearched.Com has unveiled a search engine designed to be fully accessible to people with disabilities. Search is the second most used application on the Internet after Email but people with disabilities have not been able to fully utilize the capabilities of search engines. "The team at YouSearched.Com believe individuals using the Internet who are disabled, who are blind, who have difficulties distinguishing colours, have low vision, suffer tremors, or varying degrees of paralysis, and others living with disabilities, are as important as any other user", says YouSearched.Com founder Khalid Karrar (Search Engine Guide 2004-05-20).

A six-year moratorium on imports of genetically modified foods was lifted by the European Commission yesterday as it bowed to pressure from the United States. Brussels approved the import and sale of tinned and frozen GM sweetcorn from crops produced by the Swiss firm Syngenta, so long as it is clearly labelled as a bio-engineered product. The decision, which brought protests from environmentalists, comes after years of wrangling and gives a boost to the new technology, opening the way for imports of GM food and animal feed (Telegraph 2004-05-20).

United States
Within twenty-four hours of Mother's Day this year, a California appeals court held that EG, a woman who gave birth to twins conceived with her lesbian lover's eggs, was the sole legal parent of those twins. The ruling came as a terrible disappointment to KM, whose eggs had been used to conceive the twins. KM had petitioned to establish her parental relationship with the children, but the trial court, affirmed by the appellate court, dismissed KM's petition. The court based its conclusion largely on a consent form that KM signed, waiving parental rights prior to the retrieval of her eggs. The decision in this case exposes the complexity of defining the term "mother" as well as the discriminatory impact that traditional default rules can have on a nontraditional family
(FindLaw 2004-05-19).


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