Paralympics, defectors, and… virginity cream

Fireworks explode at the Paralympics opening ceremony.

Just for clarity, the title of this post refers to three topics I’ve covered separately, rather than all at once (although that sounds like a great, if unlikely, piece). Thought I’d share some links to some of the things I’ve been working on over the last couple of weeks.

First up, continuing the sex and morality theme of my last post, I’ve fulfilled a lifelong dream by writing an article for a national newspaper about vaginas. It’s for the Guardian and discusses the controversy caused by the launch of a “vaginal tightening and rejuvenation cream” in India. You can read it here.

Last week, I also co-produced a second show for NTS radio, this time focusing on the Olympic athletes who defected and are seeking to stay in the UK. The podcast isn’t online, but I wrote an article on the same subect for Alternet. Somewhere between 12 and 21 athletes and delegates are still in the UK. While some of them have voiced their intentions to claim political asylum, such as the Ethiopian runner Weyney Ghebrisilasie, other cases are less clear cut.

While most of the Olympic athletes have returned home, the Paralympians are just getting started. My interview with Paralympian and cross-bench peer Tanni Grey Thompson appeared in last week’s New Statesman. She talks cuts to disability living allowance, changing attitudes to disabled sport, and why she never wants to forget anything.

Have also been blogging both for the NS and for Middle East Monitor, including this post on the decision by an Israel court that no-one should face charges for the death of activist Rachel Corrie. She was killed in 2003 by an Israeli army bulldozer, and her parents have pledged to appeal the decision and continue their fight for justice. In my post, I argue that this verdict is problematic in more ways than one. Not only are there questions over the procedure followed in the original investigation, but the judge’s decision sits uncomfortably with Israel’s commitments under international law.

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