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Simone Biles makes history, the disturbingly high rate of sexual violence in Congo’s Kasai conflict, and a Q&A with a woman who crutched the New York City Marathon.
The last time Oprah Winfrey hit the campaign trail, she was rallying support for the 2008 Democratic presidential race on behalf of Barack Obama, then a U.S. senator from Illinois. Last week, Winfrey traveled to Georgia to appear in two town halls and door-knock with Stacey Abrams, the state’s Democratic candidate for governor. Winfrey told a crowd in Marietta, Ga., on Thursday that those who choose not to vote are “dishonoring your family.”
If she wins, Abrams will be the first black woman governor in U.S. history. Her race against Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp has garnered attention in recent weeks for allegations of voter suppression. Vice President Mike Pence was campaigning for Kemp in Georgia the same day.
On Friday evening, a man walked into a yoga class in Tallahassee and opened fire, shooting six people and killing two women, authorities say. The shooting suspect, Scott Paul Beierle, shot and killed himself before police arrived on the scene. Police are continuing to investigate a motive. Beierle, 40, was arrested in 2012 by Florida State University police when two women accused him of grabbing their buttocks on campus, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. BuzzFeed News reported that Beierle posted a series of YouTube videos about his hatred of women under the name “Scott Carnifex.”
Four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles, 21, broke several records this week at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Doha, Qatar. It all started Thursday, when she became the first American woman to win four all-around world titles. Then, on Friday, she won her 13th career gold medal on vault to become the most decorated world champion in history. After winning a silver medal on the uneven bars, she also became the only American to earn world medals in every event. On Saturday, she wrapped up by winning gold on floor exercise and bronze on balance, bringing her total number of world medals to 20. That record is tied with Russia’s Svetlana Khorkina for the most by a female gymnast.
Despite her sensational wins, Biles told the Associated Press that her balance beam and floor performances, during which she was battling a kidney stone, were “not the gymnast that I am.”
Southern Congo’s Kasai province has borne witness to a brutal war over the past two years. This week, Doctors Without Borders, commonly known by its French acronym, MSF, released a report that documents a disturbingly high rate of sexual violence perpetrated by armed groups in the region: Rapes are being committed many times a day, and the doctors have treated more than 200 victims of sexual violence per month on average since May 2017.
“Of the 2,600 victims of sexual violence treated by MSF since May 2017, the vast majority were women,” the report reads. Eighty percent of victims said they were raped by armed men.
On Thursday, Google employees walked out of their offices in a protest dubbed “Walkout for Real Change,” which aims to change how the company handles sexual harassment. The tech giant came under scrutiny after the New York Times published a report revealing that the company had suppressed allegations of sexual misconduct against several of its executives. The walkouts occurred at offices all over the world, including ones in Tokyo, Zurich and Haifa, Israel; one of the largest took place at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., where several thousand employees participated.
On Oct. 24, the bodies of two sisters were found bound together with duct tape around their waists and ankles on the shore of the Hudson River in New York City. Rotana Farea, 22, and Tala Farea, 16, Saudi Arabian citizens who came to the United States a few years ago, had been reported missing Sept. 12, but the details surrounding their disappearance and death remain a mystery. Police said Friday that there is no indication the sisters had been killed, but an official cause of death is still unknown as they wait for results from the medical examiner.
Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said the sisters had alleged that they were abused by family members and sought asylum on those grounds in the United States. He said sources in Virginia told detectives that “they would rather inflict harm on themselves than return to Saudi Arabia.”
Thursday was Latina Equal Pay Day, which aims to bring attention to the fact that Latinas are paid 53 cents on average for every dollar that white, non-Hispanic men make, according to the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. This is the worst of the wage gaps for women: All together, women make 80 cents on average for every dollar men make. Nov. 1 marked the additional 10 months and one day that Latinas had to work in 2018 to earn the equivalent of what white, non-Hispanic men made in 2017.
Election Day is almost here, and women voters and candidates are poised to be decisive forces.
Candidates, organizers and celebrities are making one last push before the midterms, but voters are sharing their thoughts about 2018, too. The Washington Post spoke with Americans about why they’re voting — or not. Here’s what three women said:
• Christina Danz, a 22-year-old college student in Gainesville, Ga., said she didn’t vote in the last election, but after giving birth, everything changed: “I need to make a difference. And my vote counts. And I want it to count for her,” Danz said, referring to her daughter.
• Michelle Weston, from Newport Beach, Calif., said she voted for President Trump in 2016 but will not be voting in this election. “I get this feeling there is no solid option,” she told The Post. “There is negativity on both sides.”
• As a teacher in Hamlin, W. Va., Megan Hatfield said that she wants “lawmakers that will work toward fixing our insurance and our salaries … Republican or Democrat, it doesn’t matter. Choose a candidate that supports your views.”
• Sharice Davids, a Democrat running in Kansas’s 3rd District, would become one of the first Native American women elected to Congress and the state’s first openly gay representative. Deb Haaland, a Democrat running in New Mexico’s 1st District, would also become one of the first Native American women in Congress.
• Stacey Abrams (D), who’s running in Georgia, would become the first black woman governor in U.S. history.
• Christine Hallquist, the Democratic candidate in Vermont, would become the first openly transgender governor in the United States.
• Paulette Jordan, a Democrat running in Idaho, would become the nation’s first Native American governor.
We’ve also gathered up a few resources for you ahead of tomorrow:
• If you missed our Thursday newsletter, here’s a guide to the important down-ballot positions you’ll encounter on voting day.
• Here’s how to vote in your state.
• On election night, The Lily will be painting a mural at the Line Hotel in Washington, D.C. The mural will depict an eagle with 184 feathers: Each feather represents one of the women who are first-time candidates for congressional or gubernatorial seats, or are seeking a higher office in Congress, across all parties. We’ll be painting in feathers to reflect the winners as results roll in. Follow our live stream starting at 7 p.m. Eastern time on Facebook and Instagram.
Julie Ault is an artist and curator, and was a founding member of Group Material, an artist collective that ran from 1979 to 1996 and challenged the traditional bounds of creating and displaying art. This year, Ault received a MacArthur Fellows Program grant, also known as a “Genius Grant,” for “redefining the role of the artwork and the artist by melding artistic, curatorial, archival, editorial, and activist practices into a new form of cultural production.” This week, we asked Ault to fill in the blank.
Hannah Gavios was in Thailand when she fell off a cliff and broke her back, an injury that left her paralyzed from the waist down. While Gavios, 25, still remains immobile in her feet, she has spent the past two years rehabilitating, began mountain climbing again and became a yoga instructor. Most recently, she has been training to crutch the New York City Marathon, which Mary Keitany of Africa won for the fourth time Sunday. “We have such a warped view of people with disabilities,” Gavios told The Lily. “I just want to give the message that you can do anything you set your mind to, and that it doesn’t matter if you have a spinal cord injury, or a prosthetic leg, or whatever.”
I’m sure the last thing everyone needs is another podcast recommendation, but I need more people to listen to this one. It will not disappoint. It’s the perfect amount of storytelling and whimsy. Every week, host Ian Chillag has an unscripted conversation with an inanimate object, such as a pillow, a lampost, even a generic can of cola. My personal favorite: Tara, a bar of soap.
—Rachel Orr, Lily art director
*Have an idea for a news-inspired baiku? Send us your creation at lily [at] washpost [dot] com, and you might see it in the next Lily Lines. We follow 5-7-5.
Listen to everything we’ve recommended here.