Becker Sentenced to Life for Cutting off Penis

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 22:24 PM EDT, 27 June 2014

B is for Blood, Photo by KlmLOS ANGELES, California -- In August 2011, Catherine Kieu Becker, a Vietnam-born woman also known as Que Anh Tran, brutally attacked her husband severing his penis. At that time they resided in Grove Garden, California. Today, nearly three years later, Becker has been convicted and sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after seven years.

Now 50, the infamous ex-wife has supplanted Lorena Bobbitt as the new face of women who castrate their husbands. Unlike, Lorena, Catherine Kieu, had not been abused, but instead appears to have been driven to violence by jealousy.

Kieu and her then husband married in December 2009, but in May 2011 he filed for divorce, which was granted in August 2011, according to Orange County court records. Despite the fact that she and her ex-husband had no children, it seemed that Kieu was not ready to relinquish the relationship.

According to other reports, shortly before the incident, the couple argued over a friend staying with them. Apparently, her husband thought little about the incident, or at least he didn't fear for his safety because he and Kieu enjoyed a dinner together.

It was during this meal that according to prosecutors, "Kieu laced her husband's dinner with the sleep medication Ambien, and once he fell asleep, Kieu tied his legs and arms to the four corners of the bed. She waited until he awoke before pulling down his pants  and cutting off his penis with a knife."

Once again the similarities between Bobbitt and Kieu are striking, but in the case of Lorena, she drove off in her car and threw her husband's severed penis out the window. She later led the authorities to the general area where she had thrown out 'his member,' whereupon it was located and later surgically reattached.

In Kieu's case, she seemed intent on her husband never being able to perform as a man again, as she threw his severed penis into the garbage disposal, turned it on and mangled it. After this vicious assault, Kieu called 911 to say that her husband was bleeding and required attention. Upon the paramedic's arrival they saw the severity of his injuries and immediately took him to the hospital for emergency surgery.

The victim is a battered man, and if not for his physical castration people may have scoffed at his predicament. But, the abuse perpetrated against him by Kieu cannot be healed with psychotherapy. Her ex-husband, 60, according to the prosecutor's office, described the trauma in an impact statement during Friday's sentencing.

'The convicted (person) viciously deprived me of part of my life and identity," the ex-husband told the court. "Then, as is routine in cases of violence that involve something sexual, the victim must endure, at the hands of the defense, a second attack. This was a cruel and calculated violation of a person's body and mind. I now struggle with what is before me. She has torn off my identity as a man. She has caused doubt in my belief in good. She has betrayed my trust in people." Source: CNN

Kieu's defense team's strategy seemed to rely on the success of the outcome of Bobbitt's acquittal on the grounds of temporary insanity. However, despite their claim that Kieu suffered from mental health issues, including depression, it was a stretch to claim that she was a victim of the battered woman's syndrome or acted in defense of her life.

Her claims do an injustice to the many women in this country and around the world who are abused physically and mentally by their partners until they break and either harm themselves or their victimizer. Fortunately, for women's rights, the jury didn't buy into Kieu's defense and today, she was sentenced to life in accordance with the April 29th jury verdict of one felony count of torture, one felony count of aggravated mayhem, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife.

Follow Nahmias Cipher Report on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Editor-in-Chief: @ayannanahmias

Death Toll Rises in Vietnam Amidst anti-China Protests

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Olivia Elswick, Asia CorrespondentLast Modified: 00:04 a.m. DST, 17 May 2014

Vietnam, Photo by Ben SmethersBINH DUONG PROVINCE, Vietnam  - Weeks of unrest finally culminated in the Thursday, 15 May 2016 anti-China riot in central Vietnam. where rioters set afire a foreign steel project killing 21 people.

It has been widely reported that 16 Chinese and five Vietnamese workers are dead and more than a hundred people are in the hospital from the Formosa Plastic Group’s upcoming steel plant.

This group is Taiwan’s biggest investor in Vietnam, and the plant is expected to be Southeast Asia’s largest steel making facility. Taiwanese companies doing business in Vietnam have lost billions of dollars.

This incident follows arson and looting to the South, in what has been described as the worst Sino-Vietnamese relations since the border war in 1979. China and Vietnam fought a brief but gory war in 1970 and fought at sea in 1988 when China first occupied its holdings in the Spratly islands.

The riots erupted in the south on Tuesday with protest against Beijing placing an oil rig in the resource-rich part of the South China Sea claimed by Vietnam. Both countries accused the other of butting its ships near the disputed Paracel Islands.

Police in Binh Duong province said that more than 460 companies in Binh Duong alone have reported damage to their plants. More than 40 policemen were injured while on duty, mainly due to bricks thrown by extremists. 600 people have been arrested.

In an uncorroborated statement, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said, “Appropriate measures should be taken immediately to help businesses stabilize quickly and return to normal production activities.”

Hundreds of Chinese working in industrial zones have fled, namely to neighboring Cambodia, where yesterday alone 600 Chinese people crossed from Vietnam to Bavet international checkpoint. This highway checkpoint stretches from Vietnam’s commercial center in Ho Chi Minh City to Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. Chinese are fleeing to Malaysia, Cambodia, Taiwan, China, and Singapore at the Ho Chi Minh City airport. China Airlines Ltd, Taiwan’s largest carrier, has added 313 seats to flights between Taipei and Hi Chi Minh City.

The crisis in Asia erupted soon after President Obama’s visit in April in which he vowed that Washington would live up to its responsibility to defend its allies in the area. The United States and Vietnam have gradually been deepening military ties in the wake of what is perceived as Chinese expansion in the South China Sea. Vietnam has broadened military relationships with Russia and India as well.

White House spokesman Jay Carney shared, “We again urge dialogue in their resolution.” The disputes “need to be resolved through dialogue, not through intimidation.” The U.S. State Department urged restraint from both sides, while stating that, “We support the right of individuals to assemble peacefully to protest.”

The U.S. navy renewed calls for more ship visits in an effort to create stronger naval ties with Vietnam. Hanoi has so far limited U.S. port calls to one visit of up to three ships each year. Fleet spokesman Commander William Marks said “We are interested in engaging with all our partners in the South China Sea and would welcome increased port visits with Vietnam.”

Follow Olivia on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Asia Correspondent: @OCElswick