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People hug and pray before the procession carrying the body of Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, who was killed in a mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill, leaves Los Robles Hospital on November 8, 2018 in Thousand Oaks, California. 12 people have died including the sergeant plus the gunman. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)


The Week in Women: Sadness after another deadly mass shooting, RBG bounces back and an unusual legal challenge

November 9, 2018

This newsletter comes at the end of another tough week, and is all about the law and how it featured prominently in a number of storylines these last seven days. Let’s take a look back.

A former U.S Marine opened fire in a California country music bar on Wednesday night, killing 12 people, including the sheriff’s sergeant who was the first to respond to the scene. Police said Ian David Long, 28, used a smoke device and a .45-caliber handgun to target the Borderline Bar & Grill, a popular hangout for local college students in Thousand Oaks, before apparently taking his own life. Tayler Whitler, 19, was at the bar during the shooting, and told NBC’s Today show what she witnessed. “It looked like he knew exactly what he was doing,” she said of Long. “I’m just so shocked. It doesn’t feel real.” For one grieving mother, the tragic circumstances couldn’t have felt more surreal. Susan Orfanos said her son, 27-year-old Telemachus Orfanos, survived the Las Vegas mass shooting in 2017, but was killed in the massacre at the Borderline. She spoke for many when she told Los Angeles TV station ABC7, “I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control, and I hope to God nobody else sends me any more prayers. I want gun control. No more guns.”

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized briefly in a Washington, D.C. Thursday after falling in her office and fracturing three ribs. At 85, Ginsburg is the oldest justice on the Supreme Court bench and one of four left-leaning justices. After news broke of her hospitalization, concerned fans took to Twitter to offer up their ribs and, should the need arise, internal organs. But let’s be honest here: Notorious R.B.G. is in better shape than most of us — something she proved by getting back to work almost right away.

A Christian woman from Pakistan who spent more than eight years on death row in solitary confinement and was acquitted by the country’s Supreme Court last month was finally released from jail this week. Asia Bibi, a 54-year-old farm laborer and mother of five, had been charged with blasphemy after she allegedly offended Muslim co-workers by drinking water from the same cup she had fetched for them on a hot day. The Supreme Court ruled that the accusations against Bibi were “nothing short of concoction incarnate.” Protests by a hard-line religious group erupted in the wake of the acquittal, prompting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, to caution that the state could be forced to act against them. Bibi’s family members have said that they plan to seek asylum in a foreign country, for fear that her life is in danger, which it sounds like it is as protesters called for her beheading after she was freed.

A Dutch man has launched a legal bid to shave 20 years off his age because he “identifies” as someone younger — and also because he believes his actual age of 69 is causing him to be discriminated against on Tinder. Emile Ratelband, a motivational speaker and self-described “young god,” compared himself to people who wish to legally change their gender. “When I’m on Tinder and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer,” he said. “When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position.” Yeah. It’s definitely age that’s stymieing this guy’s love life.

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Previously in The Week in Women

A synagogue shooting victim remembered, latest Louis C.K. show has a new twist and Brazil elects a far-right president

Ethiopia’s first woman president, Meghan’s first royal speech and a ‘Golden Girls’ cereal craze

Love blossoms on ‘The Bachelor’ and other secrets and revelations that surprised us