THE NEWSDESK: Malala Yousafzai - shot in the head by the Taliban for telling the truth
I THINK Malala Yousafzai might just be the bravest 14-year-old girl in the world.
The Pakistani schoolgirl has been living in a Taliban-controlled area, and her blog about her daily life has highlighted just how repressive that regime has been to her and her schoolmates.
She has revealed since the age of 11 how the Taliban had previously closed down her school, issued diktats on what she should and should no wear, and how extremeists have threatened her life simply for telling the world through her BBC blog what was going on.
Yesterday, she remained critically ill in hospital after being shot in the head as she travelled home on a school bus in Mingora in the Swat Valley.
Her friend told reporters: "It was just a normal school day. We were coming home after our second term exams. The bus was taking the usual route.
"Then it stopped and two men confronted us. They asked: 'Which one of you is Malala?'
"Some of the girls started to talk and then one of the men opened fire. All the girls started crying and shouting. Malala was hit in the head and fell to the floor unconscious. There was blood everywhere. I was in total shock..
"Then the man with the gun fired at me and another girl, and ran awy."
The bus driver raced them to hospital. The friend was hit by two bullets and is in hospital. Another girl had minor injuries.
Opening fire on a bus full of teenage girls because one of them told the truth.
And these are the people, after ten long years of war, hundreds of British soldier deaths and thousands more civilian deaths in nearby Afghanistan, who have simply moved their misogyny and repression across a porous border.
Despite the terror the Taliban inflict on women, in particular, the fact that a teenage girl was courageous enough to speak out against them, knowing what was awaiting her, is important.
So is the fact that her friend says they are determined to go back to school, whatever the Taliban throws at them.
So instead of getting Botox or liposuction or fake breasts or Christian Louboutin shoes, or spending our lives on Mumsnet in pointless judgement of those who choose to give their kids a dummy, it's high time women here did a damned sight more to support girls like Malala.
SO MANY people have so many questions to answer about the behaviour of Jimmy Savile.
The fact that he behaved in a predatory fashion towards young girls was obviously an open secret in the entertainment industry - so many people have in the past week to revealed their concerns about his behaviour there was clearly a critical mass of it which should have done more than just set alarm bells ringing.
It is no use simply vilifying the BBC as some sections of the Press are doing. Yes, they were his employers, and yes, they must now explain themselves.. How much did top executives know, and when? Was there a top-level cover-up?
But the rest of the Press which is now in a BBC-bashing frenzy should be asking themselves why they did nothing too. They must have been equally aware of these allegations.
And much, much more seriously, what on earth were police doing for the 60 years he is now alleged to have carried out his acts of paedophilia?
There were serious allegations of criminal acts which were first investigated, according to newspaper reports yesterday, in 1958. Savile was investigated six times.
In this newsroom, we see cases of historic sexual abuse before the crown courts regularly, and there have been a number of convictions after a jury trial in the past year alone.
We must now be told what evidence there was, and just why it was not deemed good enough to proceed to Savile being judged by a jury of his peers, like anyone else.
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