What else we're reading

Modern-day witch trials, more Gina Lollobrigida news, Conservative Judaism on same-sex marriage and more.

By Page Rockwell
Published December 7, 2006 1:37AM (EST)

Associated Press: Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, whose wedding plans with much younger beau Javier Rigau y Rafols impressed us earlier this fall, has called off the wedding, citing interference from the press.

Associated Press, again: Eesh. An Austin, Texas, lawsuit charges a local school with failing to protect two girls in kindergarten from repeated sexual assault by another girl in their class. The alleged perpetrator had apparently been a victim of sexual abuse herself, and was seen as a potential threat to other children; the plaintiffs say the school would have taken the situation more seriously had the alleged offender been male.

Washington Post: A panel of rabbis has interpreted Jewish law to allow same-sex commitment ceremonies and the ordination of gays within Conservative Judaism, the Post reports. Nice! (Anal sex is still banned, though.) The vote was controversial; four of the committee's 25 members resigned in protest.

The Mirror: An account of Britain's most recent witch trial, in 1944 (which strikes us as awfully recent, frankly). Today marks the 50th anniversary of medium Helen Duncan's death, and activists are trying to persuade U.K. Home Secretary John Reid to overturn the verdict against her.

Slate: In more witchy news, an e-mail conversation between Daphne Merkin and Laura Kipnis over Kipnis' recent book, "The Female Thing" (which Salon's Laura Miller reviewed in October), touches on Susan Sontag, sex positivity and "how women's culture still seems a lot like Salem circa 1692." It's interesting stuff, though the writers essentialize "women's culture" a little much for our liking.

Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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