Nation & World Briefly March 12
Lesbian teen returns to school after district cancels prom
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – An 18-year-old Mississippi lesbian student whose school district canceled her senior prom rather than allow her to escort her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo said she got some unfriendly looks from classmates when she reluctantly returned to campus Thursday.
Constance McMillen said she didn’t want to go back the day after the Itawamba County school board’s decision, but her father told her she needed to face her classmates, teachers and school officials.
“My daddy told me that I needed to show them that I’m still proud of who I am,” McMillen said. “The fact that this will help people later on, that’s what’s helping me to go on.”
The district announced Wednesday it wouldn’t host the April 2 prom. The decision came after the American Civil Liberties Union told officials a policy banning same-sex prom dates violated students’ rights. The ACLU said the district not letting McMillen wear a tuxedo violated her free expression rights.
McMillen said she felt some hostility toward her on the Itawamba County Agricultural High School campus.
Discovery of mummy provides clues about ancient time in Egypt
CAIRO (AP) – The DNA tests that revealed how the famed boy-king Tutankhamun most likely died solved another of ancient Egypt’s enduring mysteries – the fate of controversial Pharaoh Akhenaten’s mummy. The discovery could help fill out the picture of a fascinating era more than 3,300 years ago when Akhenaten embarked on history’s first attempt at monotheism.
During his 17-year rule, Akhenaten sought to overturn more than a millennium of Egyptian religion and art to establish the worship of a single sun god. In the end, his bold experiment failed and he was eventually succeeded by his son, the young Tutankhamun, who rolled back his reforms and restored the old religion.
No one ever knew what became of the heretic pharaoh, whose tomb in the capital he built at Amarna was unfinished and whose name was stricken from the official list of kings.
Two years of DNA testing and CAT scans on 16 royal mummies conducted by Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, however, gave the firmest evidence to date that an unidentified mummy – known as KV55, after the number of the tomb where it was found in 1907 in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings – is Akhenaten’s.
The testing, whose results were announced last month, established that KV55 was the father of King Tut and the son of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III, a lineage that matches Akhenaten’s, according to inscriptions.
Vatican irked at condom-vending machines in school
ROME (AP) – The decision by a Rome high school to install condom vending machines has set off a storm in Italy, with the Catholic Church charging the move will encourage young people to have sex and Rome’s mayor saying it sends the wrong message.
But the Keplero high school vowed Thursday to go ahead with its experiment, billed as the first in the capital. While it’s a relative novelty for Italy, schools in several other European countries have installed the machines in hopes of curbing teen pregnancy and HIV.
“This is not about stimulating the use of condoms or intercourse,” Antonio Panaccione, the school headmaster, told The Associated Press. “On the contrary, it’s about prevention and education.”
The school plans to install six vending machines as part of educating students about sexuality and HIV protection. The price: euro2 (US$2.70) for a pack of three, lower than market prices.