Daily Digest: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, Afghani girls masquerade as boys, money laundering at Vatican bank

by Jessica Van Berkel

Daily Digest – Sept. 21, 2010:

The “Don’t Ask, Don’t tell” policy, which prohibits gays from openly serving in the military, could be repealed in a Senate vote this afternoon. Republicans are filibustering the $726 billion defense spending bill that includes the policy, the Wall Street Journal reports. The bill also has an amendment known as the Dream Act allowing young illegal immigrants to gain citizenship in the U.S. after they served in the military or attended college during a certain time period.

In Afghanistan, economic and social pressures have led many families to disguise their young daughters and have them masquerade as boys, the New York Times reported. The in-depth article says the widespread practice may go back centuries. Parents choose to cut their daughter’s hair short and dress them as a boy until they reach puberty allowing them a period of freedom and a better chance at an education.

The head of the Vatican bank is under investigation for a suspected money laundering probe and $30 million was seized from the bank in connection to the probe. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi has been in charge of the bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works, for a year. Recent transfers from the bank were deemed suspicious, according to The Times of India.