Published January 25, 2017
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
No Divorce Cites Koran
A female judge in Germany cited the Koran in her refusal to allow a Muslim woman permission to file for an immediate divorce over abuse by her husband, saying that the Koran allows a man to beat his wife. The woman in question said her husband not only beat her but also threatened to kill her.
Germans are outraged by the judge's decision. Top newspaper's headlines read: "Where are we living? Woman judge allows beating in marriage and invokes the Koran." And a government official said: "When the Koran takes precedence over the German Basic Law, then I can only say: Goodnight Germany."
A bias complaint against the judge was upheld, and another judge will now hear the case. That judge's interpretation may soon be outdated.
A new English-language version of the Koran reinterprets some words that feminists say have been used to justify the abuse of women. Specifically, the word "idrib" is often translated as "to beat." This version says it means, "to go away." Laleh Bakhtiar, the translator, hopes that her version will help make Islam friendlier toward women.
Democrats vs. Republicans
Today, more Americans align themselves with the Democratic party than with the Republican party, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.
Five years ago, the country was split evenly along partisan lines, with 43% on each side, but now, 50% say they lean toward supporting Democrats, while only 35% lean toward supporting Republicans.
There is a debate about whether this is a temporary swing in voter alliance based on the war in Iraq and other controversies, or whether it is a more lasting shift. But the pollsters say the shift mostly reflects independents moving away from Republicans, rather than a favorable assessment of Democrats.
Among the 3,000 pages of documents recently released by the Department of Justice was an e-mail exchange involving fired U.S. attorney Carol Lam. She wrote to a Justice Department employee named David Margolis to thank him for his, "help and...valuable counsel over the years." Margolis ran his response to her by senior Justice Aide Michael Elston.
The Margolis note read, I am confident you will have great success in your new endeavor and I wish you all the best. When you come to D.C., I would like to take you to lunch on my expense account." Margolis' supervisor approved the sentiment — with one exception: "Fine," he wrote back, "except that you do not have an expense account."
X Files Open
And finally, France's space agency just opened its UFO files to the general public, inviting them to look online at the 1,600 carefully detailed cases registered since 1954.
Of those, about 25% are considered "type D," which means that the agency found the reports credible and has never been able to explain the phenomena. But officials said other reports do not merit a closer look.
"Cases such as the lady who reported seeing an object that looked like a flying roll of toilet paper," said one official, "are clearly not worth investigating."
—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.