The Salvation Army Disposes Donated Harry Potter Toys

From The Toronto Sun:

CALGARY — The Salvation Army says it refuses to distribute Harry Potter and Twilight toys collected for needy children because they’re incompatible with the charity’s Christian beliefs.

The policy has alarmed a Calgarian who volunteered to sift through a southeast warehouse full of unused, donated items and was alarmed when he was told by Salvation Army officials that the two kinds of toys are “disposed of” and not given to other charities.

“I asked if these toys went to another charitable organizations but was told no, that by passing these toys on to another agency for distribution would be supporting these toys,” said the man, who wouldn’t give his name due to his occupation.

The man called himself an admirer of the Salvation Army and was impressed by the massive quantity of toys collected in city malls, schools and police stations through the Toy Mountain campaign.

But he questioned why the charity would be sifting out Harry Potter and Twilight toys, which involve sorcery and vampire themes, respectively.

“I was told to withhold a six-inch Harry Potter figure, but when I picked up a plastic M-16, I was told, ‘That’s for the 10-year-olds,'” he said.

(via The Friendly Atheist)

India diplomat gets ‘humiliating’ pat-down at Mississippi airport

From USA Today:

The “humiliating” TSA pat-down of a female India diplomat is generating headlines today in Mississippi. That’s where The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson reports that India’s ambassador to the United States was subjected to the agency’s new enhanced pat-down as she went through security at Jackson-Evers International Airport last weekend.

The Clarion-Ledger writes Ambassador Meera Shankar was in Jackson last weekend as a guest of Mississippi State University.

“While in town, Shankar met with Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, representatives from the Mississippi Development Authority and members of the Indian community in Jackson, and she spoke to more than 100 people at the Executive Lecture Forum of Jackson,” the paper writes.

Shankar apparently was selected for enhanced screening, even though she did not set of the airport’s metal detectors. Witnesses tell the Clarion-Ledger security agents told Shankar she was singled out because she was wearing a sari, which the paper notes is as “a traditional Indian robe that is draped across the body.”

The Jackson airport does not yet have full-body screeners, which meant that the ambassador became subject to the thorough pat-down.