QUIRKY WORLD ... Court bans ‘bride price’ refund if couple divorce

UGANDA: Uganda’s top court yesterday banned the practice of refunding bride price — normally livestock given by the groom to his bride’s family — when a marriage ends in divorce.

The Supreme Court agreed with activists that the practice undermines the dignity of women but it upheld the practice of paying bride price.

Activists who petitioned the court had hoped the whole culture of giving gifts would be declared unconstitutional on the grounds that it reduces women to the status of property.

Still, Leah Nabunnya, a spokeswoman for a Ugandan group that launched the case, said the court’s decision is a victory for women’s rights.

Nabunnya said studies conducted by her group show that many women are stuck in abusive marriages because quitting means their families will be obligated to make a refund of the bride price. Such women’s families often cannot afford to return the gifts, she said.

In the picture

UK:

An estimated 1.2bn selfies were taken in the UK last year, as Britons’ fascination with their own faces shows no sign of abating.

Almost a third (31%) of Brits admit to have taken a picture of themselves in the past year with one in 10 taking at least one per week, according to Ofcom.

The communications regulator said the rise in smartphones with quality cameras was potentially fuelling the craze. Just 22% of people said they mainly used a digital camera for photos.

Monkeying around

US:

A man who claimed to be Tarzan has been arrested after he allegedly climbed a tree and tried to get into the monkey exhibit at a southern California zoo.

A zookeeper called 911 to report that a shirtless man plastered in mud had climbed about 20ft into a tree at the bird exhibit at Santa Ana Zoo. The man, who apparently was high on methamphetamine, claimed he was Tarzan and tried to crawl into a monkey exhibit. He had left by the time police arrived but was taken into custody a short time later.

Mistaken identity

US:

A bounty hunter was arrested after gathering a posse and mistakenly trying to raid the home of Phoenix’s chief of police, officials said.

Brent Farley, 43, and 10 others surrounded Chief Joseph Yahner’s home around 10 pm local time on Tuesday, thinking they were cornering an Oklahoma fugitive wanted on a drug charge, the department said in a statement.

Police said the bounty hunters were told they had the wrong address and were asked to leave numerous times.

The department said Farley, who confronted the chief after banging on the door and demanding he come outside, was carrying a handgun at the time, as were several others.

A video of the incident provided by police showed Chief Yahner, clad only in his underwear, stepping outside his home with a baton in his hand and approaching the bounty hunters.

Phoenix police spokesman Trent Crump said there was no physical altercation at the scene.

Crump said eight of the individuals were men and the three others were women, including a relative of one of the men who was riding along and an 11-year-old girl who was wearing a toy gun belt.

The bondsmen were working on behalf of two bond recovery companies, NorthStar Fugitive Recovery and Delta One Tactical Recovery.

A posting by NorthStar on its Facebook account earlier on Tuesday asked for tips as to the location of the fugitive, a black man. Yahner is white.


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