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Ezidi soldier of the Armenian Army Karam Sloyan, who was beheaded by Azerbaijani forces

Ezidi soldier of the Armenian Army Karam Sloyan, who was beheaded by Azerbaijani forces

Index of articles

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Restore freedom: No taxes on alcohol and nicotine. When feminism cripples male sexuality, there must be something else that feels good before we die anyway.

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Does Bangladesh have an age of consent?

March 11, 2017 - Dhaka Tribune

Logically, it should be the same as the minimum age for marriage

It’s an obvious question to ask.

But the fact few bother to do so, gives a far fuller answer than a legal textbook ever could.

Amid the many debates about Bangladesh’s new Child Marriage Restraint Act, it is telling how rarely commentators have mentioned the legal age at which an individual in Bangladesh is considered mature enough to consent to sex.

Even more so when you note that said age of consent, according to Bangladesh’s Penal Code, is only 14.

Given that alarms about the new child marriage law were first raised by health and human rights groups over three years ago, when earlier drafts proposed reducing the minimum marriage age for females down from 18 to 16, it is remarkable how much of the penal code’s contents pass without comment.

There is an obvious, albeit inexcusable, explanation for this state of affairs, of course: In Bangladesh, no matter what the law de jure says, the de facto reality, in practice, is that, neither age nor consent have much bearing on the matter. What counts most is marital status and not being single.

Sex before or without marriage is simply not regarded as a feasible option. That’s just the way it is (and/or we’d rather not talk about it).

Of course, you may know exceptions, but the word says it all, “exceptions.” Hence, the argument goes, there’s no point fretting about the seemingly low legal age of consent for sex outside marriage.

It’s the low average age of marriage generally, and high rate of illegal underage marriages that are (rightly) considered to be the bigger cause for concern.

Around half of all Bangladeshi girls are married off before the legal minimum age of 18 — most of the rest, within a few years after. With strong correlations between poverty, underage marriage, poor nutrition, and limited years in education, there are plenty of reasons to encourage older average marriage ages.

Unfortunately, this challenge has been made harder by the government responding to criticisms of its bill, by dropping its initial reference to 16 as a new minimum age. Instead, it has increased ambiguity by simply allowing for exceptions to the pre-existing minimum marriage ages (18 for female, 21 for males) to be permitted in fuzzily defined special circumstances.

The bigger point is the concept of consenting adults being free and able to decide private matters for themselves, that is what should be adopted and encouraged

Conceivably, such ambiguities could be resolved soon if the government acts on ministerial promises to provide further clarifications. But in the meantime, the soundbite from Girls not Brides that the new law risks Bangladesh reducing “minimum marriage age to zero” is being widely reported around the world.

It is long overdue for more people to take a more serious look at updating the 1860 Penal Code which applies in Bangladesh.

This is both easy and difficult.

Simple, because the whole code is not that many pages long, plus it’s instantly searchable on the government’s own website. And tricky, because some people would rather suffer, or see others suffer, from lack of information, than endure the risk of controversy or an embarrassing conversation.

Such caution and social convention is, sadly, both inevitable and ridiculous.

Ridiculous because Bangladesh would not have made the progress it has made in reducing average family sizes if we as a nation were simply too mortified to talk about sex and contraception. Including, and especially, the very young women and girls who are pressured into early and underage marriage having access to family-planning advice.

And inevitable because, look around you, patriarchy prevails and most people in the country tend to expect, or assume, everybody else wants them to abide by traditional expectations of sexual mores.

Sadly, this makes it easy for the few to intimidate the many. Take for instance the ongoing case of a development studies lecturer at Dhaka University being investigated because of an anonymous accusation of using “objectionable content” during a seemingly routine course about gender and development.

If such a case can arise from a DU post-graduate course, imagine the reactions a school-teacher would get from parents if they told their 15-year-old students that “the age of consent in Bangladesh is 14.”

Disbelief perhaps. But the fifth part of section 375 of the 1860 Penal Code is clear. It defines statutory rape as “with or without her consent, when she is under 14 years of age.”

From this arises the implication that the age of consent in Bangladesh is 14.

This same section also contains the egregious provision providing for marriage as a defence for rape, which is clearly long overdue for being repealed.

Both sections largely reflected the law in Britain at the same time. As it turned out, British parliamentarians very quickly got round to raising the age of consent in the UK to 16 after late Victorian press exposés of child trafficking in London brothels. But it took until 1991 for English law to make rape within marriage a crime in itself. Patriarchy is not just for Victorians then.

Incidentally, section 376 of the Penal Code does appear to imply an offence where the “wife” is under 12 years old, but whether this is sloppy ICS drafting or an intent to deal with the most serious forms of paedophilia is debatable.

More positively, perhaps, sections 372 and 373 are relatively detailed and specific about outlawing the trafficking of girls under 18 for prostitution.

Another marriage law, section 497, outlaws adultery but is presumably not used much partly because it excludes a wide range of possibilities where there may be “consent or connivance,” and mainly, I suspect, because it explicitly rules out punishing women — “the wife shall not be punished as an abettor.”

From this potted history alone, it is clear there is much to reform, but for now let’s stick to what should Bangladesh’s age of consent be. The main choice seems to be “keep as it is” or “raise it to 16” for the same reasons as Britain’s.

According to the internet worldwide chart: 14 is lower than the majority of other nations like France (15), Ireland (17), and India and Turkey (18). But 14 is not unusual as it is the same age as Austria, Brazil, China, and Germany. And higher than some countries like Japan (13), Philippines (12), and Nigeria (11).

The most common age of consent specified by most countries appears to be 16 years of age, as in the UK, US, Indonesia, Russia, and Malaysia.

Particularly in those Western jurisdictions, where there is wider public debate about sex, generally; and high profile exposure of child abuse scandals in religious bodies and children’s homes has increased public demands to protect children, these ages are sometimes strengthened by additional measures focused on stopping predatory adults, such as extra limitations on those far apart in age and/or in positions of authority.

Such scrutiny and attempts to improve the law are in marked contrast to a number of Muslim countries which either do not specify or enforce any minimum age for marriage and simply state that sex is only legal within marriage, and punishable without, as in Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.

Well that makes it simpler then: Don’t be like the latter. They have simply too many examples of arbitrary interpretations and misogynist abuses of religious scriptures to be taken seriously.

It’s no coincidence these nations have seen instances of rape victims being stoned to death and perpetrators excused with impunity.

It is the risk of going down the latter path that campaigners are warning against when they worry that “special circumstances” will see more young girls forced into marriage before 18.

This same section also contains the egregious provision providing for marriage as a defence for rape

True enough, but some of the rhetoric such as the law “will allow parents to force their daughters to marry their rapists” is still arguably alarmist. When Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina talked about allowing marriages to reduce social stigma, she was probably thinking more about consensual teenage pregnancies of the “shotgun wedding” variety, rather than victims of rape and predators.

No doubt her approach and interventions have included spin to appeal to social and religious conservatives, but it’s probable that she both believes this and trusts it to be electorally popular.

Provided the government is serious about it being an act to restrain underage marriage, with courts only permitting exceptions with good reasons, all is still not lost then.

Assuming ministers are able to recognise the main and easy to rectify flaw is not specifying an absolute minimum age.

Logically, such an absolute minimum age would have to be the same as the age of consent, which is why I asked this question in the first place. Going on numbers alone, if I had to pick one, I would say 16 is safer than 14.

But the bigger point is that the concept of consenting adults being free and able to decide private matters for themselves, is what should and needs to be adopted and encouraged. That won’t happen this month, but it has to be part of the way forward. Governments need to lead.

This isn’t about forcing people to change their personal moral attitudes and religious beliefs. It is about providing and protecting the freedom, health, and welfare of all the nation’s people.

Safeguarding children from predators, protecting the health of mothers, promoting safe sex, all these goals can be helped by improving the education, knowledge, and freedom of the entire population. And recognising that won’t happen without more widespread empowerment of women and girls.

All of which, including much of the progress Bangladesh has made in the past 40 years in improving life expectancy and child mortality rates, will be placed in jeopardy if the government does not do more to drastically reduce the scandalously high number of underage and early marriages.

With around half the population aged 19 or under, the economy growing and society changing fast, don’t expect the clamour aroused by these issues to damp down any time soon.

The least we can do for coming generations is to make sure they do not die from ignorance.

Niaz Alam is a member of the Editorial Board of Dhaka Tribune. A qualified lawyer, he has worked on corporate responsibility and ethical business issues since 1992. He sat on the Board of the London Pensions Fund Authority between 2001-2010 and is a former vice-chair of War on Want.

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The Spanish masturbation expert Fran Sanchez Oria argues: "Masturbating for great sexual health… can increase your testosterone levels, specially when combined with ejaculation edging. I could probably make another post just on this, but in a nutshell if you masturbate until you are close to climax then stop, and repeat several times, your testosterone levels will build up significantly." Caught with his pants down, Fran Sanchez Oria (subsequently removed the page, but a printscreen is here and here.

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Alt-rights that are against Third World immigrants, against Muslim refugees, or against gay men got it wrong. Feminism is the enemy. Nothing else. And because women are natural cowards, the more violence there is, the quicker they will abandon feminism.

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IRANIAN MUSLIM PEDOPHILE ARRESTED IN SYNAGOGUE FIRE IN LAS VEGAS

FrontPage Mag

A suspect was arrested and faces arson and burglary charges after investigators said he lit a pair of fires at a Las Vegas synagogue Monday evening in a possible hate crime, according to authorities.

Las Vegas Police arrested Afshin Bahrampour in a shopping center parking lot across the street from the scene of two fires set at the Chabad of Southern Nevada Desert Torah Academy at 1261 Arville Street late Monday, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski said.

Firefighters were called out to handle a car fire in the synagogue’s parking lot just after 8 p.m. Monday. Crews quickly extinguished the blaze, which caused significant damage to the vehicle and minor damage to two others.

While firefighters were cleaning up after the car fire, synagogue personnel told investigators they had extinguished a mysterious fire in a waste basket inside their building two hours earlier, Szymanski said.

Afshin Bahrampour has a very interesting history. He's a registered sex offender on 2 counts of sodomy. The case is likely this one in Oregon.

On December 10, 1997 at approximately 3:00 p.m., AFSHIN BAHRAMPOUR, age 28, from Sherwood, was taken into custody by officers from Sherwood and Tigard Police Departments after eluding authorities for over one year.

In 1996, a secret indictment based upon an Oregon State Police investigation was handed down by a Washington County Grand Jury charging Afshin Bahrampour with several counts of Sex Abuse involving a girl who was 13 years old at the time. Aware of the investigation, he left the address where he was living in Beaverton and moved to an unknown location. Bahrampour was known to work as a gymnastics coach at several local area gymnastics facilities where he had contact with young girls.

At about 2:45 p.m., Sherwood Police Officer G. Smith received a call from the principal of Hopkins Elementary School advising that Bahrampour had tried to enter their school and was refused entry. Officers continued to check the area, and based upon additional sightings by some public works employees, Bahrampour was found walking on Tonquin Road near Tonquin Loop in Sherwood. Officers described Bahrampour as being dirty and muddy from hiding in bushes in the area.

He was convicted and sentenced to 8 years in prison for the abuse of a 13 year old girl. And then launched an impressive array of lawsuits against everyone and everything.

He sued Oregon because they wouldn't let him have copies of Muscle Elegance magazine. (It was determined he had no Federal constitutional right to receive it in prison.) and the Joint Chiefs of Unfaith, aka America.

This matter involves Afshin Bahrampour's civil-right action against the Joint Chiefs of Unfaith, Barack Obama, N.A.S.A., the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Navy, the National Security Administration, Independent Agencies, and the United States of America, among others, for reading his thoughts.

For example, Plaintiff states that "[t]he 'neural remote monitoring,' N.R.M., is audibly recognizable in the auditory cortex at 15 (hertz) and is a very mentally distressing and distractionary [sic] PRESENCE. It interrupts my prayer as a Shia Muslim."

But apparently molesting young girls and trying to start fires in synagogues does not.

Afshin Bahrampour seems to have wasted countless amounts of taxpayer money in these lawsuits and his various imprisonments. Just imagine if we had acted sanely and just sent him back where he came from.

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The world is full of multimillionaires who can't handle money. Because, if you have money, you want to convert it into the best sex ever. Otherwise it's useless.

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Ageism is pest of rich countries. If you are old you have no value. In poor countries, value depends on wealth. That is much better than value depending on youth because wealth can become more with advancing years. This is why rich men have every reason to invest in destruction. Plain math.

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The Vamp in the Veil: Is she a Saudi princess - or a prostitute? As the High Court is gripped by wild tales of cocaine, sex and the occult, what is the truth about Sara Al Amoudi?

She arrives at the High Court in London each morning in a black Rolls-Royce Phantom with a personalised number plate bearing the initials ‘HRH’.

As cameras flash, a team of Middle Eastern security guards descend from a Range Rover to help her cross five yards of pavement to the building’s revolving front door.

Some are entrusted with her handbag. Others look after her £50,000 diamond-encrusted luxury Vertu mobile phone.

A snappily dressed flunky named Mohammed pushes a wheelchair, in which she occasionally chooses to park her derriere.

This regal creature, who invariably has her face veiled, always wears a black burka, sometimes with gold silk stitching or a jewelled trim.

Underneath, you can catch a glimpse of designer shoes with five-inch killer heels. Occasionally, she stretches out an arm to reveal a gem-studded Rolex and a wristful of gold jewellery.

The apparently wealthy woman calls herself Sara Al Amoudi. She claims to be 31 years old, though others say she’s 43.

She has dark brown hair, greenish eyes and appears to wear a lot of make-up.

Oh, and for most of the past month, she has been at the centre of one of the most sordid and downright surreal court cases in living memory.

This regal creature, who invariably has her face veiled, always wears a black burka, sometimes with gold silk stitching or a jewelled trim.

Underneath, you can catch a glimpse of designer shoes with five-inch killer heels. Occasionally, she stretches out an arm to reveal a gem-studded Rolex and a wristful of gold jewellery.

The apparently wealthy woman calls herself Sara Al Amoudi. She claims to be 31 years old, though others say she’s 43.

She has dark brown hair, greenish eyes and appears to wear a lot of make-up.

Oh, and for most of the past month, she has been at the centre of one of the most sordid and downright surreal court cases in living memory.

Yet as the high-stakes civil proceedings have progressed, the ‘Vamp in the Veil’ case has grown increasingly strange and sleazy.

On Wednesday, for example, Ms Al Amoudi attempted to prove that she is incredibly wealthy — and presumably therefore does not need to defraud anyone — by insisting, under oath, that she spent almost £1 million on perfume in just a few weeks.

‘I have a problem with shopping,’ she declared. ‘In the past two months, my perfume, only the perfume … $1.4 million (£912,000). I can show you the pictures.’

Earlier, key players in the case were accused of conducting illicit sexual affairs, concealing addictions to drink and drugs, and prostituting themselves, more of which later.

Then there is a dark back-story involving a dead former business associate — and alleged ex-lover — of Al Amoudi, who is accused of dabbling in the occult with her at the Cliveden estate in Berkshire, scene of the Profumo scandal, again more of which later.

At the centre of these dizzying claims and counter claims there sits a huge unanswered question: Who exactly is this woman?

For, as proceedings have progressed, it has become apparent that no one — least of all Judge Sarah Asplin, who must decide the eventual outcome of the extraordinary trial — is entirely sure.

For example, several acquaintances have told the court that for years Al Amoudi has described herself as a Saudi royal.

One, an elderly hereditary peer called Lord Mereworth, who met her several years ago, said she had talked to him of being the estranged wife of King Abdullah, the country’s monarch.

‘I understood she was married to the king of Saudi,’ he said.

Yet in her own evidence to court this week, Al Amoudi — who has produced no credible birth, marriage or other document confirming her identity — denied having made such a claim.

A former boyfriend once told reporters that she spoke of being Osama Bin Laden’s daughter, claimed to be a friend of Kate Moss, and talked of dating two Hollywood film stars — Irish former hellraiser Colin Farrell and Gladiator star Joaquin Phoenix — as well as former Arsenal footballer Freddie Ljunberg.

However, there is no evidence of her having any link to the Bin Laden family, and none of the supposed celebrity acquaintances will admit to having anything to do with her.

A few years ago, in a successful application for a £4 million mortgage from a bank, that was shared with the court, Ms Al Amoudi allowed the bank to assume wrongly that she was the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi, one of the world’s wealthiest men.

Yet the Ethopian-Saudi billionaire’s legal representatives, who were in court all week, have issued a formal denial of paternity.

At various other points, she has told acquaintances that her father is Mohammed bin Aboud Al-Amoudi, the super-wealthy owner of the Intercontinental Hotel in Jeddah.

But the businessman’s representatives have vigorously disputed that claim, too.

Then there is the question of the source of Ms Al Amoudi’s apparent wealth. In legal papers, she has claimed to be a Saudi-born heiress, married at 13 and exiled from the country in the Nineties because of an adulterous relationship.

After arriving in London almost two decades ago, she says she has existed thanks to a £100,000 weekly allowance, sent by her family in the form of suitcases filled with banknotes.

Yet one of the two plaintiffs in the fraud case, 56-year-old property developer Amanda Clutterbuck, a well-preserved blonde, alleged this week that Al Amoudi earns her crust as a high-class prostitute, who for years worked from a £750,000 flat, with two sisters, yards from Harrods.

‘Far from being Saudi Arabian princesses, they were all prostitutes,’ she said, claiming that the women would trawl Harrods in search of clients.

Asked about that allegation in court, Al Amoudi claimed ‘in the name of Allah’ to be ‘a good Muslim woman’.

Certainly, there are questions about how rich Ms Al Amoudi actually is. In court on Tuesday, she claimed that her wealth was genuine, citing her expenditure on perfume as evidence.

‘I’m afraid I’m addicted to spending money and get through enormous amounts of cash,’ she said. ‘I can easily spend £50,000 to £100,000 in one spree.’

Yet the very next day, despite her luxury cars and huge entourage of employees, she suddenly declared herself ‘broke’, telling the judge: ‘I don’t have anything!’

It was a typically odd moment in a surreal three days during which Al Amoudi gave evidence to the court.

She had agreed to remove her veil in court, but sat behind a wall of document files, so that her face was invisible to most of the onlookers.

During hours of rambling testimony, at times she talked so softly that she could barely be heard; at other times she raised her voice and broke into hysterics or tears.

Often (but not always) she adopted a heavy Middle Eastern accent.

On several occasions, Al Amoudi insisted she could barely understand proceedings and needed to speak through an interpreter — only to break into eloquent English moments later.

At one such point, the court dissolved into laughter when the opposition counsel thanked her for suddenly being ‘fluent in English again’.

Things were similarly odd during Ms Al Amoudi’s last brush with the law, a 2010 trial at Southwark Crown Court when a former boyfriend, Swedish male model Patrick Ribbsaeter, stood accused of assaulting her driver.

Back then, she appeared in a bejewelled burka to give evidence for the prosecution, who claimed Ribbsaeter was a ‘gold digger’ after her money. Following his acquittal, he claimed Al Amoudi’s devout appearance during the trial was a facade.

During their short, volatile relationship, he claimed, ‘she didn’t wear the burka as a rule — she wore designer clothes,’ many of them revealing.

Al Amoudi also frequented upscale London bars, restaurants and nightclubs. ‘She was drinking champagne every night,’ he said.

‘She had a lot of issues … who knows what the truth is about this strange woman?’

One person who claims to know the truth is South London furniture dealer Negat Ali, who came forward after seeing Al Amoudi’s unveiled picture in the Daily Mail and told the court she knew her of old.

The ‘Vamp in the Veil’ is not a royal or even a Saudi, Ali claimed: she is an Ethiopian who later lived in Yemen and Dubai, she insisted.

Ms Ali, who is originally Ethiopian but now works in Battersea, claims to have met Al Amoudi in 1985.

She then ran into her again by chance in 1996 at the London strip club Stringfellow’s, where they were attending a ‘ladies’ night’.

The two women went on to share a flat in Bayswater, she said.

In 2000, Al Amoudi fell pregnant and gave birth to a daughter at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s son, Prince George, was born this week.

That daughter, who is now aged 13, is at boarding school.

Ms Ali claims that she lived with Al Amoudi for several years — during which time the infant was used to seek maintenance payments from a variety of men — before they fell out over an alleged unpaid debt of £500.

Ms Ali suspects the ‘Vamp in the Veil’ is not actually a Muslim and uses her burka as a disguise during public appearances to prevent old acquaintances, and clients, from recognising her.

Al Amoudi’s barrister, for his part, accused Negat Ali of being a disgruntled former servant trying to settle an old score with claims that are entirely untrue.

The nuts and bolts of the court case revolve around a disputed property deal.

The plaintiffs, Ms Clutterbuck and her partner Ian Paton, allege that Ms Al Amoudi cultivated their friendship over several years.

She then carried out a ‘very accomplished’ face-to-face fraud, convincing them to sign over six properties to her as security for a major future cash advance.

They say she claimed to be hugely wealthy and willing to act as a partner helping to secure finance on a deal to buy properties worth £170 million on Hans Place in Knightsbridge.

Al Amoudi allegedly told them she could secure a loan of £46 million from contacts in the Middle East. In exchange, they signed over to her the titles to six London properties.

But the massive loan never materialised, and now the couple want the properties, which are worth £14 million, to be returned.

‘I thought I was living through an Alfred Hitchcock film, in which reality seemed to be totally distorted,’ said Ms Clutterbuck — who counts the Duke of Gloucester among her social circle — recalling the moment she came to believe she had been conned.

Al Amoudi, for her part, claims that Paton signed over the flats to her in order to repay debts he owed her from years as a crack cocaine addict.

She claimed Mr Paton had been her ‘lover’ for around a decade, taking millions of pounds from her over this time.

Mr Paton has denied ever sleeping with Ms Al Amoudi and says he has never taken crack cocaine.

As is common in civil proceedings, the case, which continues, will be decided by Judge Asplin, not a jury.

Crucial to the eventual verdict will be Sara Al Amoudi’s love life. In court, Ms Clutterbuck and Mr Paton’s barrister identified a string of men to whom she is believed to have been attached during the years she claims to have been conducting an affair with Mr Paton.

They include a man known only as ‘Sammy’, who is the father of her child, and one Gerald Jerko Zovko, who is believed to have been married to Al Amoudi until he was killed in Iraq in early 2004 while working as a private security contractor.

His vehicle was hit by rocket- propelled grenades in the town of Fallujah, and his mutilated body was then dragged through the streets by a mob.

Then there is Cliff Besley, an Australian triathlon champion who, the court was told, was introduced as her fiancé at business meetings in 2008, and an alleged boyfriend called Ryan Bish.

Another man, still in her life, is Lord Mereworth, an 83-year-old divorced, heirless and apparently very wealthy hereditary peer, who lives in Pimlico, South-West London.

He appears to have become entranced with Al Amoudi after meeting her a few years ago. They have dined together at the House of Lords, and he agreed to give evidence in her support.

During cross-examination, in which Lord Mereworth denied that she had ever proposed marriage to him, he claimed to be convinced of her legitimacy.

‘I may have been misled, who knows? But I still trust her,’ he said.

The final player in this extraordinary soap opera is an acquaintance of Amanda Clutterbuck, a man named Elliot Nichol, with whom Ms Al Amoudi appears to have had a lengthy affair.

Mr Nichol, who died of alcohol poisoning in December 2009, is said to have been obsessed with the occult. He would speak with Ms Al Amoudi on a mobile phone that had a number ending in 666 — which is popularly associated with the devil.

In the run-up to his death, Nichol was living with Al Amoudi at properties in central London and on the Cliveden estate in Berkshire, Ms Clutterbuck told the court.

‘At Christmas 2006, Mr Nichol phoned in an almost totally incoherent state, singing at the top of his voice: “I am drowning in Vuitton handbags and Cavalli, we’re thinking of floating them down the Thames.” ’

The ‘Vamp in the Veil’ denies being with Nichol at the time of that call.

As with almost everything about this mysterious woman, the truth is hard to ascertain. Now a judge will have the unenviable task of sorting fact from fiction in this most modern tale of greed and guile.

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For the current legal systems in the Western World, and for the mainstream media anyway, doing physical harm to men, or killing them, is peanuts. A woman who kills her sexual partner always gets full sympathy. Never mind what kind of bitch she is.

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Feminism is the ideology of ugly females who can't get a man to say "You are the most beautiful women in the world!" The idea behind feminism is: restrict sex for men wherever possible. In the hope that if sex is not available otherwise, some man will still like their ugly ass.

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Clitbait: 10 things you didn't know about the clitoris

On Saturday night, Alli Sebastian Wolf delivered a sex-ed lesson in one of the world’s most famous performance venues. The Australian artist was pulled on to the stage of the Sydney Opera House’s Concert Hall at the request of the musician Amanda Palmer, who had seen Wolf’s recent piece “Glitoris” online.

It’s much as it sounds: a giant, sparkling clitoris, a 100:1 scale model of the real thing, covered in intricate, sequinned “nerves” so that it lights up the room “like a divine disco ball”, says Wolf.

Palmer said it was the most effective artwork in the fight against fascism she’d ever seen. Wolf will settle for a world with equality on toilet walls, where there are as many clitorises graffitied as penises.

She’s motivated by how little is known about the clitoris, even by those who have one themselves or interact with them regularly. “Sex ed was, ‘These are the ovaries, this is a penis, don’t get herpes, off you go’,” says Wolf.

This is a 3D model of a clitoris – and the start of a sexual revolution Minna Salami Read more “It’s really interesting to me just how few people know about how the clitoris works, or what it looks like. I personally didn’t know until I was in my mid-20s, which seems like just such a shame.”

With Glitoris, she wanted to create “something fun and fabulous ... [and] really pleasurable to engage with – not a static artwork or an anatomy lesson, but something where people could come have a bit of a fondle and enjoy the sparkly colours”.

Hooked into the foyer of the Sydney Opera House, she said, it seemed to do the trick: “Everyone wanted to give it a bit of a hug.”

And now that the giant, golden clitoris has got your attention, here are 10 facts Wolf wants you to know.

A clitoris is like an iceberg

Mostly invisible below the surface, wrapping around the vaginal tunnel and extending out towards the thighs. “The part that we’re seeing and feeling is just this tiny little glans that creates the head of the clitoris,” says Wolf. “From there, all this fabulous magical stuff is happening beneath the surface.”

2. There are more than 8,000 nerve endings in the tip of the clitoris alone – double the number of those in a penis A clitoris is made up of 18 distinct parts – a mixture of erectile tissue, muscle and nerves. “All those little pieces are working together to create the amazing sensations that anyone with a clitoris feels when they’re having orgasms.”

The actual vaginal tunnel has almost no sensation at all – giving birth through something as sensitive as a clitoris would be “excruciating”, says Wolf.

3. They can swell as much as 300% when engorged Clitorises range from 7-12 cm in length and swell by 50 to 300% when engorged when aroused. It’s not “a zero to 100 situation”, says Wolf, but as you draw closer to orgasm, it increases in size.

When at rest, the “arms”, or corpora cavernosa, of the clitoris’ body extend straight out towards your thighs. When you’re aroused, they curl around “and give your internal body a little bit of a hug”.

4. G-spot and penetrative orgasms are clitoral Both stimulate internal parts of the clitoris. “You can come from these different places that are all using the clitoris but using it in different ways,” says Wolf.

Understanding has been frustrated by historical heteronormative studies of the female anatomy that assumed stimulation by a penis was necessary to orgasm; Wolf blames Freud.

It was only in 2009 that a small team of French researchers carried out the first sonographic mapping of an erect clitoris, even though the technology to do so had existed for years.

5. ‘Clit’ is relatively recent terminology The first recorded use of the word “clit” was in America in the 1950s.

“Clitoris” dates back to the 17th century and could derive from words for “sheath”, “key” or “latch”, or “to touch or tickle”, says Wolf.

6. It is the only known body part with the sole purpose of pleasure ... But one in 10 women has never had an orgasm – and most, at some point, will have “a hard time” reaching orgasm with a partner, says Wolf.

She blames a “culture of shame” surrounding female sexuality that suppresses scientific research and personal exploration.

7. ... But it has not always been just a good time Throughout history, doctors have advocated for the removal of the clitoris to cure mental illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia, or “this pesky problem of women ‘unnaturally’ desiring sex”, says Wolf.

In ancient Greece, lesbians or women who actively desired sex were often considered witches, “despite the fact that your husband could have 16 lovers, and be off at the bath houses with young men”.

And in medieval times, it was referred to as “the devil’s teat”, through which the devil could suck your soul. “The witch trials are a great example of the war against women, which hasn’t really stopped.”

8. The clitoris can form a penis – and vice versa In some forms of gender confirmation surgery, the clitoris can be enlarged with hormones to form a penis. In other cases, the penile glans can be reduced in size and relocated to create a clitoris.

The first MRI scan out in 2009 was carried out by Dr Odile Buisson and Dr Pierre Foldès partly to aid in understanding of how to treat female genital mutilation.

9. It is the only part of the human body that never ages

Australia's first female genital mutilation trial: how a bright young girl convinced a jury Read more An 80-year-old clit looks and works the same as a 20-year-old one. But it does keep growing – it could be 2.5 times as big in your 90s as it was in your teen years.

“They’re weird, fabulous little creatures,” says Wolf happily. (Your nose also continues to grow past the point you reach your maximum height.)

10. Every clit is unique They come in different shapes and colours, from pale pink to black. “As varied as your face,” she says. “If you look at a picture of a swath of vaginas – I’ve never seen two that look similar.”

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If you are still invested in the real estate of European cities, get out! A terrorist attack with chemical weapons will happen. There will be hoards of people who won't want to live in urban centers.

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Injections of Botox into the penis probably are the most effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. Every artery and vein in the body is surrounded by a layer of smooth muscle. Otherwise there could not be variations in blood pressure. When the muscles around blood vessels contract, this is called vadoconstriction. When the muscles around blood vessels relax, this is called vasodilation.

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